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Full text of "History of the discipline of the Methodist Episcopal church"

HISTORY 



THE DISCIPLINE 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

By ROBERT EMORY. 

REVISED, AND BROUGHT DOWN TO 1856, 

By W. P. STRICKLAND. 



PUBLISHED BY CARLTON & PORTER, 

200 MULBERRY-STREET. 






UK EXCHANGE 

AcuvxJiC C^ucJU lu*±ztz 



"Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1843, by 
G. Lane & P. P. Sandford, in the Clerk's Office of the District 
Court of the Southern District of New- York. 



PREFACE 



When a young Methodist preacher enters, in accord 
ance with the direction of his church, upon the study 
of its Discipline, he is curious to know when and by 
whom that Discipline was framed. He learns, indeed, 
from the book itself, that the General Conference has 
" full powers to make rules and regulations," under 
certain "limitations and restrictions." But who im- 
posed those "limitations and restrictions," and to what 
extent has the General Conference used its powers? 
There is internal evidence that the present Discipline 
was not all composed at one time. At what periods 
then were its several parts introduced, and what modi- 
fications have they undergone ? These are points not 
only of curious inquiry, but essential often to right in- 
terpretation. But they are points on which students 
generally can obtain no satisfactory information. In 
our civil governments, the statutes are scattered through 
the several volumes of laws, which have been publish- 
ed from time to time, and therefore these are all pre- 
served. But, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the 
Discipline, as revised at each General Conference, be- 
ing in itself complete, supplants all that had gone before 
it, and the previous editions are cast aside as of no 
further use. Thus it has continued, until now nearly 
sixty years have elapsed since the organization of the 
church, and the Discipline has undergone about twenty 
distinct revisions. Where then shall the student go to 
find these successive editions ? If he resort to the 



PREFACE. 



libraries of the oldest preachers, they are not there : — 
to the library of the Book Concern, they are not there: 
— to the archives of the General Conference, still they 
are not to be found. Despairing of success in this 
pursuit, he may perhaps examine the journals of the 
General Conference, (though, from the nature of the 
case, this is a privilege which few can enjoy.) But 
here he will find that all prior to 1800 are missing; 
and that those subsequent to that date convey no accu- 
rate information as to the changes in the Discipline ; 
because, in the alterations, references are made to 
chapter, section, question, page, &c., which cannot be 
understood without having a copy of the then Disci- 
pline in hand : and because, moreover, at each General 
Conference the subsequent publication of the Disci- 
pline is intrusted to a committee, invested with powers, 
(often largely discretionary,) as to the selection, arrange- 
ment, and wording of the several parts : and no report 
of their proceedings is entered upon the journal. 

The embarrassment which is here supposed in the 
mind of a student of the Discipline, is precisely such 
as the author himself experienced. In such a dilemma, 
he endeavoured to collect for himself a set of the differ- 
ent Disciplines. Having his lot cast amid the earliest 
seats of Methodism in this country, he had the good 
fortune of rescuing one old Discipline after another 
from its obscure resting place, until at length, with one 
exception,* the series was completed, and the rich grati- 
fication was enjoyed of tracing in the original documents 
themselves the progress of the Discipline, from the 
first simple series of questions and answers, to its pre- 
sent more elaborate structure of parts, chapters, and 

* See pages 81, 83. 



PREFACE. 



sections. The collection thus made could not be ren- 
dered universally accessible. The author has thought, 
therefore, that he would be doing a service to students 
of the Discipline generally, and especially to his 
brethren in the ministry, by publishing the results of 
his investigations in a condensed form. Such was the 
origin of the present work. In the preparation of it, the 
author has aimed at nothing more than the most perfect 
accuracy in the statement of facts, and the most lucid 
arrangement which the nature of the case admitted. 
To secure these he has bestowed a degree of labour 
and attention which few would suppose, that have not 
made a similar attempt. Having no model for such a 
work in all the range of civil and ecclesiastical law books, 
as much time was spent, perhaps, in trying various 
plans of presenting the subject, as was necessary to com- 
plete the undertaking, after the plan was decided on. That 
which has been adopted combines, it is believed, more 
than any other, brevity with accuracy. The changes m 
the form and arrangement of the Discipline are noticed 
in the first book ; and in the second, the changes in its 
contents. That these last might be stated as precisely 
as possible, the very words of the Discipline are quoted. 
This necessarily leads to some repetition, and deprives 
the work of a part of the interest which it might have 
possessed if the narrative style had been adopted. But 
it is believed that this mode will be preferred by the 
most of those who will wish to consult the work. 
There is added, in an Appendix, the greater part of the 
Notes on the Discipline, by Dr. Coke and Bishop As- 
bury, many of which are still intrinsically valuable ; 
and all of which are interesting, as presenting the 
views of the founders of the Methodist Episcopal 



PREFACE. 



Church. For convenience of reference, there is ap- 
pended to the whole a copious index. 

Some might expect, in such a work, a discussion of 
the reasons for certain rules, and the interpretation to be 
put upon them. There can be no doubt that a know- 
ledge of both these will be promoted by the informa- 
tion which is here communicated, as to the time when, 
and the connection in which the rules were introduced, 
and the changes they have undergone. But to set forth 
his own opinion on points of discipline was no part of 
the author's plan ; nor would it have become either his 
age in the ministry, or his station in the Church. His 
object will be accomplished, if he shall promote, in any 
degree, an understanding of the Discipline of the 
Church, and an attachment to those great principles of 
its economy, which, amid all the changes of form, have 
remained the same from the beginning, and which 
have proved so signally successful in " spreading Scrip- 
tural holiness over these lands." 

Robert Emory. 

Frederick City, Md., November, 1843. 



PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION. 



The historical digest of Dr. Emory was pub- 
lished in 1843, and has passed through four edi- 
tions. In 1845 the author added a Supplement, 
which contained the alterations in the Discipline 
of 1787 and 1844. 

It may be necessary to remark in this connec- 
tion, that the first edition of Dr. Emory's history 
was defective, from the fact that he had not in 
his possession a copy of the Discipline of 1787, 
and hence was unable to insert the changes which 
had been made. He subsequently received a copy 
of this edition from Eev. Dr. Lee, of Eichmond. 
By this he ascertained that some of the changes 
which he had assigned to 1789 were made in 
1787, and hence the necessity of the Supplement. 
Changes having been made in 1844 by the Gen- 
eral Conference, they were accordingly added to 
the Supplement at the same time. 

Subsequently, in 1853, another Supplement, con- 
taining the alterations in the Discipline of 1848 
and 1852, was added by the Eev. Dr. Floy. At 
the same time an Index was made to the Supple- 
ment. 



Vm PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION. 

Other changes were made in the Discipline at 
the General Conference of 1856, and when the 
question came before the Book Agents in regard 
to the propriety of adding another supplemental 
chapter to the book, in accordance with the orig- 
inal design of having a full and complete history 
of the changes as they occur from time to time, 
it was determined to revise the whole, and incor- 
porate in the body of the work the changes which 
had been made since the first publication. This 
has been done at the expense of much labor on 
the part of the revisor; and the changes which 
have been made in the Discipline since 1840 
have been inserted in the places to which they 
belong. An entirely new Index, as necessary to 
make it conform to the revision, has also been 
made out, and the reader will be able, by refer- 
ring to it, to find any subject in the book. 

"W. P. Strickland. 

New-Yobk, March, 1857. 



CONTENTS. 



BOOK I. 

PAGE 

History of the different Editions of the Discipline 9 

Rules and Regulations prior to the Organization of the 

Methodist Episcopal Church 9-25 

First Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, com- 
pared with the Large Minutes 26-79 

Subsequent Editions.. ,. ... 80-86 



BOOK II. 

History of the several Sections of the Discipline 87 

The Title 87 

The Bishops' Address 88 

PART I. CHAPTER I. 

Section 1. Of the Origin of the M. E. Church 92 

Section 2. Articles of Religion 95 

Section 3. Of the General and Annual Conferences 110 

Section 4. Of the Election and Consecration of Bishops, and 

their Duty 123 

Section 5. Of the Presiding Elders, and their Duty 129 



X CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Section 6. Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling El- 
ders, and their Duty 134 

Section 7. Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling 
Deacons, and their Duty 135 

Section 8. Of the Reception of Preachers from the Wesleyan 
Connection, and from other Denominations., 137 

Section 9. Of the Method of receiving Travelling Preachers, 
and of their Duty 138 

Section 10. Of the Duties of those who have the Charge of 
Circuits 143 

Section 11. Of the Trial of those who think they are moved 
by the Holy Ghost to Preach 153 

Section 12. Of the matter and manner of Preaching, and 
of other Public Exercises 153 

Section 13. Of the Duty of Preachers to God, themselves, 
and one another 153 

Section 14. Rules by which we should continue or desist 
from Preaching at any place 154 

Section 15. Of Visiting from house to house, guarding 
against those things that are so common to professors, 
and enforcing Practical Religion 154 

Section 16. Of the Instruction of Children 155 

Section 17. Of employing our Time profitably when we are 
not Travelling, &c 169 

Section 18. Of the necessity of Union among ourselves 170 

Section 19. Of the method by which immoral Travelling 
Ministers or Preachers shall be brought to Trial, &c 170 

Section 20. How to Provide for the Circuits in time of Con- 
ference, and to preserve and increase the work of God 178 

Section 21. Of Local Preachers 179 

Section 22. Of Baptism 190 

Section 23. Of the Lord's Supper 190 

Section 24. Of Public Worship 191 

Section 25. Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing 192 



CONTENTS. XI 



CHAPTER II. 

PAGE 

Section 1. The Nature, Design, and General Rules of our 

United Societies 193 

Section 2. Of Class Meetings 197 

Section 3. Of the Band Societies 199 

Section 4. Of the Privileges granted to serious Persons who 

are not of our Church ; 203 

Section 5. Of Marriage 203 

Section 6. Of Dress 204 

Section 7. Of bringing to Trial, Finding Guilty, and Reprov- 
ing, Suspending, or Excluding Disorderly Persons from 
Society, &c 205 



CHAPTER III. 

Sacramental Services, &c. 

Section 1. The Order for the Administration of the Lord's 

Supper 209 

Section 2. The Ministration of Baptism to Infants 216 

The Ministration of Baptism to such as are of 

riper years 218 

Section 3. Form of Solemnization of Matrimony 221 

The Communion of the Sick 222 

Section 4. Order of the Burial of the Dead 223 



CHAPTER IV. 

Form and Manner of Making and Ordaining Bishops, Elders, 
and Deacons. 

Section 1. Form and Manner of Making Deacons 224 

Section 2. Form and Manner of Ordaining Elders 225 

Section 3. Form of Ordaining a Bishop 225 



Xll CONTENTS. 



PART II. 

The Temporal Economy of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

page 
Section I. Of the Boundaries of the Annual Conferences, &c. 227 
Section 2. Of Building Churches, and the Order to be 

observed therein 263 

Section 3. Of the Qualifications, Appointment, and Duty of 

the Stewards of Circuits 270 

Section 4. Of the Allowance to the Ministers and Preachers, 

and to their Wives, Widows, and Children 272 

Section 5. Of raising Annual Supplies for the Propagation 

of the Gospel, for making up the Allowance of the 

Preachers, &c 276 

Section 6. Support of Missions 284 

Section 7. Of the Chartered Fund 294 

Section 8. Of the Printing and Circulating of Books, and of 

the Profits arising therefrom 298 

Section 9. Local Preachers to have an Allowance in given 

cases 326 

Section 10. Of Slavery 327 

Appendix. Notes on the Discipline 335 

Index 395 



THE 



HISTORY OF THE DISCIPLINE. 



BOOK I. 

HISTORY OF THE DIFFERENT EDITIONS. 

The Methodist Societies were originally governed 
by the General Rules, drawn up by the Wesleys, in 
1743, and by the regulations adopted in the conferences, 
which were held yearly from 1744. These regulations 
were first published in the Minutes from year to year. 
They were afterward collected together and printed, 
with some slight alterations, in a tract entitled " The 
Large Minutes." The same rules and regulations, so 
far as applicable to their condition, governed the 
Methodist Societies in America, from the time of their 
first formation in 1766. At the first conference, in 
1773, the preachers formally recognized " the doc- 
trine and discipline of the Methodists," as contained in 
the English Minutes, to be " the sole rule of their con- 
duct." They adopted, however, at successive confer- 
ences, some additional regulations, rendered necessary 
by their peculiar circumstances. These were insert- 
ed, from year to year, in the Annual Minutes, until 
1784, when the Methodists in America ceased to con- 
stitute mere societies, and were duly organized into a 
church. To learn, then, what was the Discipline of 
the Methodist Societies in America, prior to 1784, the 
Large Minutes must be compared with the Annual 



10 Rules and Regulations. [1773. 

Minutes of the American conferences. The Large 
Minutes will be found below, in connection with the 
Discipline of 1784. Those portions of the Annual 
Minutes which relate to discipline are as follows : — 

1 77&. At the first conference, held in Philadelphia, 
June, 1773, "the following queries were proposed to 
every preacher : — 

" Quest. 1. Ought not the authority of Mr. Wesley 
and that conference to extend to the preachers and 
people in America, as well as in Great Britain and 
Ireland ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 2. Ought not the doctrine and discipline of 
the Methodists, as contained in the Minutes, to be the 
sole rule of our conduct, who labour in the connection 
with Mr. Wesley in America ? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 3. If so, does it not follow, that if any 
preachers deviate from the Minutes, we can have no 
fellowship with them till they change their conduct ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" The following rules were agreed to by all the 
preachers present : — 

"1. Every preacher, who acts in connection with Mr. 
Wesley and the brethren who labour in America, is 
strictly to avoid administering the ordinances of baptism 
and the Lord's supper. 

" 2. All the people among whom we labour, to Be 
earnestly exhorted to attend the Church, and to receive 
the ordinances there ; but in a particular manner, to 
press the people in Maryland and Virginia to the ob- 
servance of this minute. 

"3. No person or persons to be admitted into our 
love-feasts oftener than twice or thrice, unless they be- 
come members ; and none to be admitted to the society 
meetings more than thrice. 

" 4. None of the preachers in America to reprint any 
of Mr. Wesley's books, without his authority (when it 
can be gotten) and the consent of their brethren. 



1774-5.] Rules and Regulations. 11 

"5. Robert Williams to sell the books he has 
already printed, but to print no more, unless under the 
above restrictions. 

" 6. Every preacher who acts as an assistant, to 
send an account of the work once in six months to the 
general assistant." 

1774. In 1774 the following regulations were 
adopted : — 

"All the preachers to change at the end of six 
months. 

" This conference agreed to the following particulars : 

" 1 . Every preacher who is received into full connec- 
tion is to have the use and property of his horse, which 
any of- the circuits may furnish him with. 

" 2. Every preacher to be allowed six pounds, Penn- 
sylvania currency, per quarter, and his travelling 
charges besides. 

" 3. For every assistant to make a general collection 
at Easter in the circuits where they labour, to be 
applied to the sinking of the debts on the houses, and 
relieving the preachers in want. 

"4. Wherever Thomas Rankin* spends his time, he 
is to be assisted by those circuits." 

1 775. In 1775 the following directions are added : 
" Thomas Rankin* is to travel till the month of De- 
cember, and then take a quarter in New-York. 

" The preachers in New- Jersey to change in one 
quarter. 

"Webster and Cooper to change with Gatch and 
Watters at the end of six months. 

" The preachers in Brunswick and Hanover to 
change as the assistant thinks proper. 

" Thomas Rankin's deficiencies to be paid out of the 
yearly collection. 

" The preachers' expenses from conference to their 
circuits to be paid out of the yearly collection. 

* The general assistant. 



12 Rules and Regulations. [1777-9 

" A general fast for the prosperity of the work, and 
for the peace of America, on Tuesday the 18th of July." 

1777. In 1777 we find the following : — 

" Quest. 7. As the present distress is such, are the 
preachers resolved to take no step to detach themselves 
from the work of God for the ensuing year ? 

" Ans. We purpose, by the grace of God, not to 
take any step that may separate us from the brethren, 
or from the blessed work in which we are engaged. 

" Quest. 8. Has not the preaching of funeral sermons 
been carried so far as to prostitute that venerable custom, 
and in some sort to render it contemptible ? 

" Ans. Yes. Therefore let all the preachers inform 
every society, that we will not preach any but for those 
who, we have reason to think, died in the fear and 
favour of God." 

1778. In 1778 the following :— 

" Quest. 8. What shall the preachers be allowed for 
quarterage ? 

" Ans. Eight pounds, Virginia currency." 

1779. In 1779, at the conference in Delaware, 
the following : — 

" No helper to make any alteration in the circuit, or 
appoint preaching in any new place, without consulting 
the assistant. 

" Every exhorter and local preacher to go by the 
directions of the assistants where, and only where, they 
shall appoint. 

" Quest. 8. Why was the Delaware Conference held? 

"Ans. For the convenience of the preachers in the 
northern stations, that we all might have an opportunity 
of meeting in conference ; it being unadvisable for 
brother Asbury and brother RufT, with some others, to 
attend in Virginia ; it is considered also as preparatory 
to the conference in Virginia. Our sentiments to be 
given in by brother Watters. 



1779-80.] Rules and Regulations. 13 

" Quest. 9. Ought not every travelling preacher to 
meet the class wherever he preaches ? 

" Ans. Yes ; if possible. 

" Quest. 10. Shall we guard against a separation 
from the Church, directly or indirectly ? 

" Ans. By all means. 

" Quest. 11. What shall be done with the children? 

" Ans. Meet them once a fortnight, and examine the 
parents with regard to their conduct toward them. 

" Quest. 12. Ought not brother Asbury to act as 
general assistant in America ? 

" Ans. He ought: 1st, on account of his age ; 2d, 
because originally appointed by Mr. Wesley ; 3d, be- 
ing joined with Messrs. Rankin and Shadford, by 
express order from Mr. Wesley. 

" Quest. 13. How far shall his power extend? 

" Ans. On hearing every preacher for and against 
what is in debate, the right of determination shall rest 
with him, according to the Minutes." 

In the same year, at the conference in Virginia, the 
following : — 

" Quest. 6. What shall be done with the preachers 
who were upon trial last year ? 

" Ans. To be continued till next conference. 

" Quest. 7. Shall any preacher receive quarterage 
who is able to travel, and does not ? 

11 Ans. No. 

" Quest. 8. In what light shall we view those 
preachers who receive money by subscription ? 

" Ans. As excluded from the Methodist connection." 

1780. In 1780 the following :— 

" Quest. 7. Ought not all the assistants to see to the 
settling of all the preaching houses by trustees, and 
order the said trustees to meet once in half a year, and 
keep a register of their proceedings ; if there are any 
vacancies, choose new trustees for the better security 
of the houses, and let all the deeds be drawn in sub- 
stance after that in the printed Minutes ? 

2 



14 Rules and Regulations. [1780. 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 8. Shall all the travelling preachers take a 
license from every conference, importing that they are 
assistants or helpers in connection with us ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 9. Shall brother Asbury sign them in be- 
half of the conference ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 10. Ought it to be strictly enjoined on all 
our local preachers and exhorters that no one presume 
to speak in public without taking a note every quarter, 
(if required,) and be examined by the assistant with 
respect to his life, his qualification, and reception ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 11. Ought not all our preachers to make 
conscience of rising at four, and if not, yet at five ? (is 
it not a shame for a preacher to be in bed till six in the 
morning ?) 

" Ans. Undoubtedly they ought. 

" Quest. 12. Shall we continue in close connection 
with the Church, and press our people to a closer com- 
munion with her ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 13. Will this conference grant the privilege 
to all the friendly clergy of the Church of England, at 
the request or desire of the people, to preach or admi- 
nister the ordinances in our preaching houses or cha- 
pels ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 14. What provision shall we make for the 
wives of married preachers ? 

" Ans. They shall receive an equivalent with their 
husbands in quarterage, if they stand in need. 

" Quest. 15. Ought not our preachers, if possible, to 
speak to every person, one by one, in the families 
where they lodge, before prayer, if time will permit, or 
give a family exhortation after reading a chapter ? 

" Ans. They ought. 

" Qi/est. 16. Ought not this conference to require 



1780.] Rules and Regulations. 15 



those travelling preachers who hold slaves to give pro- 
mises to set them free ? 

"Arts. Yes. 

" Quest. 17. Does this conference acknowledge that 
slavery is contrary to the laws of God, man, and na- 
ture, and hurtful to society ; contrary to the dictates of 
conscience and pure religion, and doing that which we 
would not others should do to us and ours ? Do we 
pass our disapprobation on all our friends who keep 
slaves, and advise their freedom ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 18. Shall we recommend our quarterly 
meetings to be held on Saturdays and Sundays when 
convenient ?* 

" Ans. Agreed. 

" Quest. 19. Shall not the Friday following every 
quarter day be appointed as a day of fasting ? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 20. Does this whole conference disapprove 
the step our brethren have taken in Virginia ? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 21. Do we look upon them no longer as 
Methodists in connection with Mr. Wesley and us till 
they come back ?t 

"Ans. Agreed. 

" Quest. 22. Shall brother Asbury, Garrettson, and 
Watters attend the Virginia Conference, and inform 
them of our proceedings in this, and receive their answer? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 23. Do we disapprove of the practice of 
distilling grain into liquor ? Shall we disown our friends 
who will not renounce the practice ? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 24. What shall the conference do in case 
of brother Asbury's death or absence ? 



* At first, held on Tuesday. 

+ " This refers to a partial separation which took place in Virginia 
on account of the ordinances." 



16 Rules and Regulations. [1780-1. 

" Ans. Meet once a year, and act according to the 
Minutes. 

" Quest. 25. Ought not the assistant to meet the co- 
Soured people himself, and appoint as helpers in his 
absence proper white persons, and not sutler them to 
stay late, and meet by themselves ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 26. What must be the conditions of our 
union with our Virginia brethren ? 

" Ans. To suspend all their administrations for one 
year, and all meet together in Baltimore." 

1781. In 1781 the following:— 

" Quest. 1. What preachers are now determined, 
after mature consideration, close observation, and 
earnest prayer, to preach the old Methodist doctrine, 
and strictly enforce the Discipline, as contained in 
the Notes, Sermons, and Minutes published by Mr. 
Wesley, so far as they respect both preachers and 
people, according to the knowledge we have of them, 
and the ability God shall give ; and firmly resolved to 
discountenance a separation among either preachers 
or people ? 

" Ans. n [Here follow the names of thirty-nine 
preachers.] 

" Quest. 2. Why was conference begun at Chop- 
tank? 

" Ans. To examine those who could not go to 
Baltimore, and to provide supplies for the circuits 
where the Lord is more immediately pouring out his 
Spirit. 

" Quest. 3. Is there any precedent for this in the 
economy of Methodism ? 

" Ans. Yes : Mr. Wesley generally holds a confer- 
ence in Ireland for the same purposes. 

rk Quest. 4. Should we take the preachers into full 
connection after one year's trial ; or would it not be 
better, after considering how young they are in age, 
grace, and gifts, to try them two years, unless it be one 



1781.] Rules and Regulations. 17 

of double testimony, of whom there is a general appro- 
bation ? 

" Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 5. Shall any assistant take a local preacher 
to travel in the circuit, in the vacancy of conference, 
without consulting brother Asbury, or the assistants 
near him, by word or letter ? 

"Ans. No. 

" Quest. 6. If any former assistant has had just 
cause for removing preaching from any house, should 
his successor return to it without consulting brother 
Asbury, or the assistants in the circuits near him ; and 
if it remains doubtful, leave it till next conference ? 

"Ans. Agreed. 

" Quest. 7. Ought not the preachers to examine 
every person admitted upon trial for three months ; 
first, whether they have been turned out ; and if so, let 
them not be received without they have evidenced re- 
pentance, and can be generally recommended ? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 8. Ought not the preachers often to read 
the Rules of the Societies, the Character of a Method- 
ist, and the Plain Account of Christian Perfection, if 
they have got them ? 

"Ans. Yes." 

" Quest. 14. Ought not every assistant to give a cir- 
cumstantial account of the circuit, in writing, both of 
societies and local preachers, with a plan, to his suc- 
cessor ? 

"Ans. Yes. 

" Quest. 15. Ought not each assistant to inform all 
our societies in his circuit of the sum that is to be made 
up for the preachers' quarterage, exclusive of travelling 
expenses, and urge them to give according to their se- 
veral abilities ? 

"Ans. Yes." 

" Quest. 17. What proper method should be taken, 
supposing any difference should arise in dealing be 
tween our brethren ? 



18 Rules and Regulations. [1781-2. 

" Arts. Let the assistant preacher at quarterly meet- 
ing consult with the steward, in appointing proper per- 
sons to examine into the circumstances, and if there be 
any suspicion of injustice or inability in the referees, to 
appoint men of more skill and probity, and the parties 
to abide by their decision, or be excluded the society. 

" Quest. 18. How many general fasts shall we have 
this year ? 

" Ans. Four, as follows : — the first Thursday in 
June, September, January, and April." 

1783. In 1782 the following :— 

" Quest. 11. What shall be done to revive the work ? 

" Ans. Hold evening meetings, and preach in the 
mornings in places convenient. 

" Quest. 12. What shall be done to get a regular 
and impartial supply for the maintenance of the 
preachers ? 

" Ans. Let every thing they receive, either in money 
or clothing, be valued by the preachers and stewards at 
quarterly meeting, and an account of the deficiency 
given in to the conference, that they may be supplied 
by the profits arising from the books and the confer- 
ence collections. 

" Quest. 13. How shall we more effectually guard 
against disorderly travelling preachers ? 

" Ans. Write at the bottom of every certificate : ' The 
authority this conveys is limited to next conference.' 

" Quest. 14. How must we do if a preacher will not 
desist after being found guilty ? 

" Ans. Let the nearest assistant stop him immedi- 
ately. In brother Asbury's absence, let the preachers 
inform the people of these rules. 

" Quest. 15. How shall we more effectually guard 
against,disorderly local preachers ? 

" Ans. Write at the bottom of the certificate : ' This 
conveys authority no longer than you walk uprightly, 
and submit to the direction of the assistant preacher.' 

" Quest. 16. By what rule shall we conduct our 



1782-3.] Rules and Regulations. 19 

selves toward the preachers and people that separate 
from us ? 

" Ans. Disown them. 

" Quest. 17. How shall we more effectually guard 
against impostors ? 

" Ans. Let no person remove from north to south 
without a certificate from the assistant preacher ; and 
let no one be received into society without." 

".Quest. 19. Do the brethren in conference unani- 
mously choose brother Asbury to act according to Mr. 
Wesley's original appointment, and preside over the 
American conferences and the whole work ? 

"Ans. Yes." 

" Every assistant preacher must so order his circuit, 
that either himself or one of his helpers may travel with 
Mr. Asbury through his circuit." 

1 7 83. In 1783 the following :— 

" Quest. 9. How is this sum [for the support of the 
preachers' wives] to be raised 1 

" Ans. Let the preachers make a small collection in 
all the circuits. 

" Quest. 10. What shall be done with our local 
preachers who hold slaves contrary to the laws which 
authorize their freedom in any of the United States ? 

" Ans. We will try them another year. In the mean 
time let every assistant deal faithfully and plainly with 
every one, and report to the next conference. It may 
then be necessary to suspend them. 

" Quest. 11. Should our friends be permitted to 
make spirituous liquors, sell, and drink them in 
drams ? 

" Ans. By no means : we think it wrong in its na- 
ture and consequences ; and desire all our preachers to 
teach the people by precept and example to put away 
this evil. 

" Quest. 12. How shall we conduct ourselves to- 
ward any European Methodists, should they come to 
this continent ? 



20 Rules and Regulations. [1783-4 

" Ans. We will not receive them without a letter of 
recommendation, which we have no reason to doubt the 
truth of. 

" Quest. 13. What can be done to supply the cir- 
cuits with preaching in time of conference ? 

"Ans. Let the assistants engage as many local 
preachers as can be depended upon, and such among 
them as are needy be allowed for their labour in pro- 
portion with the travelling preachers. 

" Quest. 14. How many days of thanksgiving shall 
we have for our public peace, temporal and spiritual 
prosperity, and for the glorious work of God ? 

" Ans. Two : the first Thursday in July and Oc- 
tober. 

" Quest. 15. How many fast days shall we have ? 

" Ans. Two : the first Friday in January and 
April." 

" Quest. 17. How is this money [for the preachers' 
wives] to be raised ? 

"Ans." [The amount is then apportioned to the 
several circuits.] 

1784. In 1784 the following :— 

" Quest. 8. How shall we keep good order among 
the preachers, and provide for contingencies in the va- 
cancy of conference, and absence of the general assist- 
ant? 

"Ans. Let any three assistants do what may be 
thought most eligible, call to an account, change, sus- 
pend, or receive a preacher till conference. 

" Quest. 9. What can be done with those places 
we have long tried, and appear to grow worse every 
year? 

" Ans. If you are obliged to make use of such places 
to get to more valuable ones, appoint no public preach- 
ing, but only meet society in the evening, or speak to 
the black people. 

" Qttest. 10. What can be done toward erecting new 
chapels, and discharging the debts on those already built? 



1784 ] Rules and Regulations. 21 

" Ans. Let the assistant preacher put a yearly sub- 
scription through the circuits, and insist upon every 
member that is not supported by charity to give some 
thing. Let them subscribe the first quarter, and pay 
the second ; and the money to be applied by two ge- 
neral stewards. 

•* Quest. 11. How shall we prevent superfluity in 
dress among our people ? 

" Ans. Let the preachers carefully avoid every thing 
of this kind in themselves, and speak frequently and 
faithfully against it in all our societies. 

" Quest. 12. What shall we do with our frrendsthat 
will buy and sell slaves ? 

" Ans. If they buy w r ith no other design than to hold 
them as slaves, and have been previously warned, they 
shall be expelled, and permitted to sell on no consider- 
ation. 

" Quest. 13. What shall we do with our local 
preachers who will not emancipate their slaves in the 
states where the laws admit it ? 

" Ans. Try those in Virginia another year, and sus- 
pend the preachers in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsyl- 
vania, and New- Jersey. 

" Quest. 14. How shall we reform our singing? 

" Ans. Let all our preachers who have any know- 
ledge in the notes improve it by learning to sing true 
themselves, and keeping close to Mr. Wesley's tunes 
and hymns. 

. " Quest. 15. How shall we enlarge the conference 
collection to supply the wants of the preachers ? 

" Ans. Let there be a public collection in all the 
principal places in the circuits, and brought to confer- 
ence." 

" Let every assistant preacher see that [the money 
for the preachers' wives] is collected and paid quar 
terly. 

" Quest. 18. What shall be allowed the general as- 
sistant yearly? 



22 Rules and Regulations. [1784 

" Arts. Twenty-four pounds, with his expenses foi 
horses and travelling, brought to, and paid at, confer 
ence." 

" Quest. 21. How shall we conduct ourselves to 
ward European preachers ? 

" Ans. If they are recommended by Mr. Wesley, 
will be subject to the American conference, preach the 
doctrine taught in the four volumes of Sermons, and 
Notes on the New Testament, keep the circuits they 
are appointed to, follow the directions of the London and 
American Minutes, and be subject to Francis Asbury 
as general assistant, whilst he stands approved by Mr. 
Wesley and the conference, we will receive them ; but 
if they walk contrary to the above directions, no ancient 
right or appointment shall prevent their being excluded 
from our connection. 

" Quest. 22. What shall be done with our travelling 
preachers that now are, or hereafter shall be, possessed 
of slaves, and refuse to manumit them where the law 
permits ? 

" Ans. Employ them no more. 

" Quest. 23. How shall we more effectually appoint 
and keep days of fasting 1 

" Ans. By writing it upon every class paper, ' To be 
the first Friday after every quarterly meeting.' " 

The close of the year 1784 constituted a new and 
most important epoch in American Methodism. The 
independence of the United States having been con- 
firmed by the peace of 1783, the authority of England 
over them, both civil and ecclesiastical, came to an 
end. The connection with the Church of England 
being thus providentially dissolved, Mr. Wesley, who 
had always resisted a separation from it, took mea- 
sures, on the application of the American societies, to 
organize them into a church. In explanation of his 
views and wishes, he addressed to the brethren in 
America the following letter : — 



1784.] Organization of the M. E. Church. 23 

"Bristol, Sept. 10, 1784. 

" To Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, and our Brethren in 
North America : — 

"1. By a very uncommon train of providences 
many of the provinces of North America are totally 
disjoined from the British empire, and erected into 
independent states. The English government has no 
authority over them, either civil or ecclesiastical, any 
more than over the states of Holland. A civil autho- 
rity is exercised over them, partly by the congress, 
partly by the state assemblies. But no one either 
exercises or claims any ecclesiastical authority at all. 
In this peculiar situation some thousands of the in- 
habitants of these states desire my advice ; and in 
compliance with their desire I have drawn up a little 
sketch. 

" 2. Lord King's account of the primitive church 
convinced me, many years ago, that bishops and 
presbyters are the same order, and, consequently, 
have the same right to ordain. For many years I 
have been importuned, from time to time, to exercise 
this right, by ordaining part of our travelling preachers; 
but I have still refused, not only for peace' sake, but 
because I was determined as little as possible to vio- 
late the established order of the national church to 
which I belonged. 

"3. But the case is widely different between England 
and North America. Here there are bishops who have 
a legal jurisdiction. In America there are none, and 
but few parish ministers ; so that for some hundred 
miles together there is none either to baptize or to 
administer the Lord's supper. Here, therefore, my 
scruples are at an end ; and I conceive myself at full 
liberty, as I violate no order, and invade no man's 
right, by appointing and sending labourers into the 
harvest. 

"4. I have, accordingly, appointed Dr. Coke and 
Mr. Francis Asbury to be joint superintendents 



24 Organization of the M. E. Church. [1784. 

over our brethren in North America ; as also Richard 
Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey to act welders among 
them, by bapti-zing and administering the Lord's supper. 

" 5. If any one will point out a more rational and 
Scriptural way of feeding and guiding those poor sheep 
in the wilderness, 1 will gladly embrace it. At pre- 
sent I cannot see any better method than that I have 
taken. 

" 6. It has indeed been proposed to desire the 
English bishops to ordain part of our preachers for 
America. But to this I object, (1.) I desired the 
bishop of London to ordain one only, but could not 
prevail. (2.) If they consented, we know the slow 
ness of their proceedings, but the matter admits of no 
delay. (3.) If they would ordain them now, they 
would likewise expect to govern them. And how 
grievously would this entangle us ! (4.) As our 
American brethren are now totally disentangled both 
from the state and from the English hierarchy, we 
dare not entangle them again either with the one or 
the other. They are now at full liberty simply to 
follow the Scriptures and the primitive church. And 
we judge it best that they should stand fast in that 
liberty wherewith God has so strangely made them 
free. John Wesley." 

At the same time, Mr. Wesley prepared and printed, 
for the use of the church in America, a Liturgy, 
abridged from that of the Church of England, and a 
collection of psalms and hymns. The former was 
entitled, " The Sunday Service of the Methodists in 
North America. With other occasional Services 
London. Printed in the year 1784;" and contained, 
among other things, " The Form and Manner of making 
and ordaining of Superintendents, Elders, and Dea- 
cons," and the " Articles of Religion." The latter 
was entitled, " A Collection of Psalms and Hymns 
for the Lord's Day. Published by John Wesley, 
M. A., late Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford ; and 



1784.] The Christmas Conference. 25 

Charles Wesley, M. A., late Student of Christ Church, 
Oxford. London. Printed in the year 1784." 

To carry into effect the proposed organization, a 
General Conference of preachers was called, to meet 
in Baltimore at Christmas, 1784. Sixty out of the 
eighty-three preachers, then in the travelling connec- 
tion, attended at the appointed time. "At this confer- 
ence," say the Annual Minutes for 1785, "it was 
unanimously agreed that circumstances made it ex- 
pedient for us to become a separate body, under the 
denomination of ' The Methodist Episcopal Church.' " 
And again they say, "We formed ourselves into an 
independent church ; and following the counsel of 
Mr. John Wesley, who recommended the Episcopal 
mode of church government, we thought it best to 
become an Episcopal church, making the Episcopal 
office elective, and the elected superintendent or 
bishop amenable to the body of ministers and preach- 
ers." They adopted a Form of Discipline for the 
government of the church. This was substantially 
the same with the Large Minutes, the principal alter- 
ations being only such as were necessary to adapt 
it to the state of things in America. As this was 
the first Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal > y 
Church, it is here republished entire, together with 
the portions of the Large Minutes which were left 
out or altered. Those parts of the Large Minutes 
which were left out of the Discipline of 1784 are 
here enclosed in brackets, and, when the passages are 
long, are printed in smaller type, while what was con- 
tained in the latter, and not in the former, is printed 
in italics. Where there has been merely a substitution 
of one passage for another, the language of the Large 
Minutes is given at the foot of the page. The figures 
in parentheses refer to the Large Minutes. 

"Minutes of several Conversations between the Rev. 
Thomas Coke, LL.D., the Rev. Francis Asbury, 
and others, at a Conference, begun in Baltimore, 



26 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784, 

in the State of Maryland, on Monday the 27th of 
December, in the Year 1784. Composing a Form 
of Discipline for the Ministers, Preachers, and 
other Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in America. 1 • 

" It is desired that all things be considered as in the 
immediate presence of God ; that every person speak 
freely whatever is in his heart. 

" Quest. 1. How may we best improve the time 
of our conferences ? 2 

11 Ans. 1. While we are conversing, let us have an 
especial care to set God always before us. 

" 2. In the intermediate hours, let us redeem all the 
time we can for private exercises. 

" 3. Therein let us give ourselves to prayer for 
one another, and for a blessing on [this] our labour. 

[" Quest. (2.) Have our conferences been as useful as they 
might have been 1 

" Ans. No : we have been continually straitened for time. 
Hence scarce any thing has been searched to the bottom. To 
remedy this, let every conference last nine days, concluding on 
Wednesday in the second week.] 

" Quest. 2. What can be done in order to the future 
union of the Methodists ? 

" Ans. During the life of the Rev. Mr. Wesley, we 
acknowledge ourselves his sons in the gospel, ready in 



1 The title of the Large Minutes reads, " Minutes of several Con- 
versations between the Rev. Mr. Wesley and others ; from the Year 
1744 to the Year 1789." They are here printed as found in Wes. 
ley's Works, vol. v, pp. 211-239. The English editor observes in a 
note, " This tract, which is usually denominated, ' The Large Mi- 
nutes,' contains the plan of Discipline as practised in the Methodist 
connection during the life of Mr. Wesley. As its title intimates, it 
underwent several alterations and enlargements from the year 1744 
to 1789, when the last revision took place. It is here reprinted from 
a copy which bears the date of 1791 — the year in which Mr. Wesley 
died — collated with the edition of 1789." Although the edition, 
which is here quoted, was revised four years after the organization of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, yet it is ascertained, by comparison 
with the Annual Minutes of the English Conference, that little alter- 
ation was made in the Large Minutes subsequently to 1784. 

* " this conference." — Large Minutes. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 27 

matters belonging to church government, to obey his 
commands. And we do engage, after his death, to do 
every thing that we judge consistent ivith the cause of 
religion in America and the political interests of these 
States, to preserve and promote our union with the 
Methodists in Europe. 

" Quest. 3. As the ecclesiastical as zoell as civil 
affairs of these United States have passed through a 
very considerable change by the revolution, what plan 
of church government shall we hereafter pursue ? 

" Ans. We will form ourselves into an Episcopal 
Church, under the direction of superintendents, elders, 
deacons, and helpers, according to the forms of ordi- 
nation annexed to our Liturgy, and the Form of Dis- 
cipline set forth in these Minutes. 

" Quest. 4. (3.) What may we reasonably believe 
to be God's design in raising up the preachers called 
Methodists ? 

" Ans. [Not to form any new sect ; but] to reform 
the continent, 1 [particularly the Church ;] and to spread 
Scriptural holiness over these lands. 2 

" Quest. 5. (4.) What was the rise of Methodism, 
so called? 

" Ans. In 1729, two young men, reading the Bible, 
saw they could not be saved without holiness, followed 
after it, and incited others so to do. In 1737 they saw 
holiness comes by faith. They saw likewise, that men 
are justified before they are sanctified ; but still holi- 
ness was their point. God then thrust them out, utterly 
against their will, to raise an holy people. When Satan 
could no otherwise hinder this, he threw Calvinism in 
the way ; and then i\.ntinomianism, which strikes di- 
rectly at the root of all holiness. 

" Quest. 6. (5.) Is it advisable for us to preach in 
as many places as we can, without forming any so- 
cieties ? 

" Ans. By no means. We have made the trial in 

1 " nation." — Large Minutes. 3 " the land." — Tb. 



28 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, C17&4. 

various places ; and that for a considerable time. But 
all the seed has fallen as by the [high] way side. 
There is scarce any fruit remaining. 

" Quest. 7. (6.) Where should we endeavour to 
preach most ? 

" Ans. 1. Where there is the greatest number of 
quiet and willing hearers. 2. Wliere there is most fruit. 

" Quest. 8. (7.) Is field preaching unlawful? 

11 Ans. We conceive not. We do not know that it 
is contrary to any law either of God or man. 

" Quest. 9. (8.) Have we not used it too sparingly? 

" Ans. It seems we have ; 1 . Because our call is, 
to save that which is lost. Now, we cannot expect 
them to seek us. Therefore we should go and seek 
them. 2. Because we are particularly called, by 
'going into the highways and hedges,' [which none 
else will do,] 'to compel them to come in.' 3. Be- 
cause that reason against it is not good, ' The house 
will hold all that come.' The house may hold all that 
come to the house ; but not all that would come to 
the field. 

" The greatest hinderance to this you are to expect 
from rich, or cowardly, or lazy Methodists. But re- 
gard them not, neither stewards, leaders, nor people. 
Whenever the weather will permit, go out in God's 
name into the most public places, and call all to repent 
and believe the gospel ; every Sunday, in particular ; 
especially where there are old societies, lest they settle 
upon their lees. 

[" The stewards will frequently oppose this, lest they lose 
their usual collection. But this is not a sufficient reason against 
it. Shall we barter souls for money 1] 

" Quest. 10. (9.) Ought we not diligently to observe 
in what places God is pleased at any time to pour out 
his Spirit more abundantly ? 

" Ans. We ought ; and at that time to send more 
labourers than usual into that part of the harvest. 

["But whence shall we have them'? 1. So far as we can 
afford it, we will keep a reserve of preachers at Kingswood 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 29 

2. Let an exact list be kept of those who are proposed for trial, 
but not accepted.] 

" Quest. 11. (10.) How often shall we permit 
strangers to be present at the meeting of the society ? 

" Ans. At every other meeting of the society in 
every place let no stranger be admitted. At other 
times they may } but the same person not above twice 
or thrice. In order to this, see that all in every place 
show their tickets before they come in. If the stewards 
and leaders are not exact herein, employ others that 
have more resolution. 

" Quest. 12. How often shall we permit strangers 
to be present at our love-feasts ? 

" Ans. Let them be admitted with the utmost cau- 
tion ; and the same person on no account above twice, 
unless he becomes a member. 

" Quest. 13. (11.) How may the leaders of classes 
be made more useful ? 

" Ans. 1. Let each of them be diligently examined 
concerning his method of meeting a class. Let this be 
done with all possible exactness at the [next] quarterly 
visitation. And in order to this, allow sufficient time 
for the visiting of each society. 

" 2. Let each leader carefully inquire how every 
soul in his class prospers ; not only how each person 
observes the outward rules, 'but how he grows in the 
knowledge and love of God. 

"3. Let the leaders converse with the assistant fre- 
quently and freely. 

" Quest. 14. (12.) Can any thing farther be done, 
in order to make the meetings of the classes lively and 
profitable ? 

" Ans. 1. Change improper leaders. 

" 2. Let the leaders frequently meet each other's 
classes. 

"3. Let us observe which leaders are the most useful; 
and let these meet the other classes as often as possible. 

" 4. See that all the leaders be not only men of 
sound judgment, but men truly devoted to God. 
3 



30 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

" Quest. 15. (13.) How can we farther assist those 
under our care ? 

" Ans. 1. By meeting the married men and women 
ogether, the first Sunday after the quarterly meeting, 1 
— the single men and women apart, on the two follow- 
ing, — in all the large societies : [this has been much 
neglected.] 

" 2. By instructing them at their own houses. What 
unspeakable need is there of this ! The world say, 
' The Methodists are no better than other people.' 
This is not true. But it is nearer the truth than we 
are willing to believe. 

" [N. B.] For 1. Personal religion either toward 
God or man is amazingly superficial among us. 

" We 2 can but just touch on a few generals. How 
little faith is there among us ! How little communion 
with God ! How little living in heaven, walking in 
eternity, deadness to every creature ! How much love 
of the world ; desire of pleasure, of ease, of praise, 3 of 
getting money ! How little brotherly love ! What con- 
tinual judging one another ! What gossiping, evil 
speaking, tale bearing ! What want of moral honesty ! 
To instance only [in] one or two particulars : who 
does as he would be done by, in buying and selling, 
particularly in selling horses ! Write him a knave 
that does not. And the Methodist knave is the worst 
of all knaves. 

" 2. Family religion is shamefully wanting, and almost 
m every branch. 

" And the Methodists in general will be little the bet- 
ter, till we take quite another course with them. For 
what avails public preaching alone, though we could 
preach like angels ? We must, yea, every travelling 
preacher must, instruct them from house to house. 
Till this is done, and that in good earnest, the Metho- 
dists will be little better than other people. Our reli- 

1 "visitation." — Large Minutes. 2 "I." — lb. 

3 "of praise" is in the original English Minutes, though not in the 
Large Minutes. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 3J 

gion is not deep, universal, uniform ; but superficial, 
partial, uneven. It will be so, till we spend half as 
much time in this visiting, as we now do in talking 
uselessly. 

" Can we find a better method of doing this than Mr. 
Baxter's ? If not, let us adopt it without delay. His 
whole tract, intitled, ' Gildas Salvianus' is well worth a 
careful perusal. [A short extract from it I will subjoin.] 
Speaking of this visiting from house to house, he 
says, p. 351: — 

" We shall find many hinderances, both in ourselves, 
and in the people. 

" 1. In ourselves there is much dulness and laziness; 
so that there will be much ado to get us to be faithful 
in the work. 

" 2, We have a base, man-pleasing temper ; so that 
we let men perish, rather than lose their love. We 
let them go quietly to hell, lest we should anger them. 
" 3. Some of us have also a foolish bashfulness. 
We know not how to begin, and blush to contradict 
the devil. 

" 4. But the greatest, hinderance is, weakness of 
faith. Our whole motion is weak, because the spring 
of it is weak. 

"5. Lastly, we are unskilful in the work. How 
few know how to deal with men, so as to get within 
them, and suit all our discourse to their several condi- 
tions and tempers ; to choose the fittest subjects, and 
follow them with a holy mixture of seriousness, and 
terror, and love, and meekness !" 

" [And we have many difficulties to grapple with in our people. 

" 1. Too many of them will be unwilling to be taught, till we 
conquer their perverseness by the force of reason and the power 
of lore. 

" 2. And many are so dull that they will shun being taught 
lor fear of showing their dulness. And indeed you will find it ex- 
tremely hard to make them understand the very plainest points. 

" 3. And it is still harder to fix things on their hearts, without 
which all our labour is lost. If 3^011 have not, therefore, great 
seriousness and fervency, what good can you expect"? And, 
after all, it is grace alone that must do the work. 



32 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

" 4. And when we have made some impressions on their 
hearts, if we look not after them, they will soon die away. 

" But as great as this labour of private instruction is, it is ab- 
solutely necessary. For, after all our preaching, many of our 
people are almost as ignorant as if they had never heard the 
gospel. I speak as plain as I can, yet I frequently meet with 
those who have been my hearers many years, who know not 
whether Christ be God or man. And how few are there that 
know the nature of repentance, faith, and holiness ! Most of 
them have a sort of confidence that God will save them, while 
the world has their hearts. I have found by experience, that 
one of these has learned more from one hour's close discourse, 
than from ten years' public preaching.] 

" But 1 undoubtedly this private application is implied 
in those solemn words of the apostle : ' I charge thee, 
before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge 
the quick and dead at his appearing, preach the word, 
be instant in season, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, 
exhort, with all long suffering.' 

" O brethren, if we could but set this work on foot in 
all our societies, and prosecute it zealously, what glory- 
would redound to God ! If the common lukeivarm- 
ness 2 were banished, and every shop and every house 
busied in speaking of the word and works of God, 
surely God would dwell in our habitations, and make 
us his delight. 

" And this is absolutely necessary to the welfare of 
our people, many of whom neither believe nor repent 
to this day. Look round and see how many of them 
are still in apparent danger of damnation. And how 
can you walk, and talk, and be merry with such people, 
when you know their case? Methinks, when you 
look them in the face, you should break forth into tears, 
as the prophet did when he looked upon Hazael ; and 
then set on them with the most vehement and importu 
nate exhortations. O, for God's sake, and for the sake 
of poor souls, bestir yourselves, and spare no pains that 
may conduce to their salvation ! 

" "What cause have we to bleed before the Lord this 



" And." — Large Minutes. 2 " ignorance." — lb. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 33 

day, that we have so long neglected this good work ! 
If we had but set upon it sooner, how many more 
might have been brought to Christ ! And how much 
holier and happier might we have made our societies 
before now ! And why might we not have done it 
sooner ? There were many hinderances ; and so there 
always will be. But the greatest hinderance was in 
ourselves, in our littleness of faith and love. 

" But it is objected, 1. ■ This will take up so much 
time, that we shall not have leisure 1 to follow our 
studies.' 

" We 2 answer, 1 . Gaining knowledge is a good thing ; 
but saving souls is a better. 2. By this very thing you 
will gain the most excellent knowledge, that of God 
and eternity. 3. You will have time for gaining other 
knowledge too, [if you spend all your mornings therein.] 
Only sleep not more than you need ; and never be idle, 
or triflingly employed. But, 4. If you can do but one, 
let y^ir studies alone. We 3 would throw by all the 
libraries in the world, rather than be guilty of the loss 
of one soul. 

[" I allow, in some of the country circuits, where you have 
only a day to spend in each place, you have not time for this 
excellent work. But you have, wherever you spend several 
days tog-ether in one town.] 

" It is objected, 2. ' The people will not submit to 
it.' If some will not, others will. And the success 
with them will repay all your labour. O let us herein 
follow the example of St. Paul ! 

" 1. For our general business, 'Serving the Lord 
with all humility of mind.' 2. Our special work, 
' Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock.' 3. Our 
doctrine, ' Repentance toward God, and faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ.' 4. The place, ' I have taught vou 
publicly, and from house to house.' 5. The object and 
manner of teaching, ' I ceased not to warn every one, 
night and day, with tears.' 6. His innocence and self- 
denial herein, ' I have coveted no man's silver or gold. 



1 " time."— Large Minutes. a " I." — lb. 3 " I." — lb. 



34 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

7. His patience, ' Neither count I my life dear unto 
myself.' And among all our motives, let these be ever 
before our eyes : 1 . ' The church of God, which he 
hath purchased with his own blood.' 2. ' Grievous 
wolves shall enter in ; yea, of yourselves shall men 
arise, speaking perverse things.' Write this upon your 
hearts, and it will do you more good than twenty years' 
study. 

" Let every preacher, having a catalogue of those in 
each society, go to each house ; and deal gently with 
them, that the report of it may move others to desire 
your coming. 

[" Give the children the ' Instructions for Children,' and encour- 
age them to get them by heart. Indeed, you will find it no easy 
matter to teach the ignorant the principles of religion. So true 
is the remark of Archbishop Usher : ' Great scholars may think 
this work beneath them. But they should consider, the laying 
the foundation skilfully, as it is of the greatest importance, so it 
is the masterpiece of the wisest builder. And let the wisest of 
us all try, whenever we please, we shall find, that to lay this 
groundwork rightly, to make the ignorant understand the grounds 
of religion, will put us to the trial of all our skill.' 

" Perhaps in doing this it may be well, 1. After a few loving 
words spoken to all in the house, to take each person singly into 
another room, where you may deal closely with him, about his 
sin, and misery, and duty. Set these home, or you lose all your 
labour. (At least, let none be present but those who are famil- 
iar with each other.) 

" 2. Hear what the children have learned by heart. 

" 3. Choose some of the weightiest points, and try if they under- 
stand them. As, ' Do you believe you have sin in you 1 What, 
does sin deserve 1 What remedy has God provided for guilty, 
helpless sinners V 

" 4. Often with the question suggest the answer. As, ' What 
is repentance 1 Sorrow for sin, or a conviction that we are guilty, 
helpless sinners.' 'What is faith 1 A divine conviction of 
things not seen.' 

" 5. Where you perceive they do not understand the stress 
of your question, lead them into it by other questions. For in- 
stance, you ask, ' How do you think your sins will be pardoned V 
They answer, ' By repenting and amending my life.' You ask 
farther, ' But will your amendment make satisfaction for your 
past sins V They will answer, ' I hope so, or I know not what 
will.' One would think, these had no knowledge of Christ at 
all. And some have not. But others have ; and give such 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 35 

answers, only because they do not understand the scope of the 
question. Ask them farther, ' Can you be saved without the 
death of Christ'?' They immediately say, 'No.' And if you 
ask, 'What has he suffered for you"?' they will say, 'He shed 
his blood for us.' But many cannot express even what they 
have some conception of; no, not even when expressions are 
put into their mouths. With these you are to deal exceeding 
tenderly, lest they be discouraged. 

" 6. If you perceive them troubled, that they cannot answer, 
step in yourself, and take the burden off them ; answering the 
question yourself. And do it thoroughly and plainly, making a 
full explication of the whole business to them. 

" 7. When you have tried their knowledge, proceed to in- 
struct them, according to their several capacities. If a man 
understand the fundamentals, speak what you perceive he most 
needs, either explaining farther some doctrines, or some duty, or 
showing him the necessity of something which he neglects. If 
he still understands not, go over it again till he does. 

" 8. Next inquire into his state, whether convinced or uncon- 
vinced, converted or unconverted. Tell him, if need be, what 
conversion is ; and then renew and enforce the inquiry. 

"9. If unconverted, labour with all your power to bring his 
heart to a sense of his condition. Set this home with a more 
earnest voice than you spoke before. Get to the heart, or you 
do nothing. 

" 10. Conclude all with a strong exhortation, which should 
enforce, 1. The duty of the heart, in order to receive Christ. 
2. The avoiding former sins, and constantly using the outward 
means. And be sure, if you can, to get their promise, to for- 
sake sin, change their company, and use the means. And do 
this solemnly, reminding them of the presence of God, who 
hears their promises, and expects the performance. 

"11. Before you leave them, engage the head of each family to 
call all his family together every Sunday before they go to bed, 
and hear what they can repeat, and so continue, till they have 
learned the ' Instructions' perfectly ; and afterward let him take 
care that they do not forget what they have learned.] 

" Do this in earnest, and you will soon find what a 
work you take in hand, in undertaking to be a travelling 
preacher ! 

" Quest. 16. (14.) How shall we prevent improper 
persons from insinuating into the society ? 

" Ans. 1. Give tickets to none till they are recom- 
mended by a leader, with whom they have met at least 
two months on trial. 



3ti First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

" 2. Give notes to none but those who are recommend- 
ed by one you know, or till they have met three or four 
times in a class. 

"3. Give them the rules the first time they meet. 
[See that this be never neglected.] 

" Quest. 17. (15.) When shall we admit new 
members ? 

" Ans. In large towns, admit them into the bands at 
the quarterly love-feast following the quarterly meeting : l 
into the society, on the Sunday following the quarterly 
meeting. 1 Then also read the names of them that are 
excluded. 

" Quest. 18. (16.) Should we insist on the rules 
concerning dress ? 2 

"Ans. By all means. This is no time to give any 
encouragement to superfluity of apparel. Therefore 
give no [band] tickets to any till they have left off super- 
fluous ornaments. In order to this, 1. Let every 
assistant read the ' Thoughts upon Dress' at least once 
a year, in every large society. 2. In visiting the classes, 
be very mild, but very strict. 3. Allow no exempt case, 
not even of a married woman. Better one suffer than 
many. 4. Give no ticket to any that wear [calashes,] 
high heads, [or] enormous bonnets, ruffles or rings. 

" Quest. 19. What can be done to encourage meeting 
in band ? 

" Ans. 1 . In every large society have a love-feast 
quarterly for the bands only. 2. Never fail to meet 
them once a week. 3. Exhort every believer to 
embrace the advantage. 4. Give a band ticket to none 
till they have met a quarter on trial. 

[" Observe ! You give none a band ticket before he meets, 
but after he has met. 

" Quest. (17.) Have those in band left off snuff and drams 1 
"Ans. No. Many are still enslaved to one or the other. In 
order to redress this, 1. Let no preacher touch either on any 
account. 2. Strongly dissuade our people from them. 3. An- 
swer their pretences, particularly curing the colic] 

1 " visitation." — Large Minutes. 

■ ' the band rules, particularly w?th regard to dress V—Ib 



1784.] Compared tcilh the Large Minutes. 37 

" Quest. 20. (18.) Do we observe any evil which 
has lately prevailed among our societies ? 

" Arts. Many of our members have married [with un- 
believers, yea,] with unawakened persons. This has 
had fatal effects. They had either a cross for life, or 
turned back to perdition. 

" Quest. 21. (19.) What can be done to put a stop to 
this? 

"Arts. 1. Let every preacher publicly enforce the 
apostle's caution, ' Be not unequally yoked with! un- 
believers.' 2. Let him openly declare, whoever does 
this will be expelled the society. 3. When any such 
is expelled, let a suitable exhortation be subjoined. 
And, 4. Let all be exhorted to take no step in so 
weighty a matter without advising with the most serious 
of their brethren. 

" Quest. 22. (20.) Ought any woman to marry with- 
out the consent of her parents ? 

" Ans. In general, she ought not, Yet there may be 
an exception. For if, 1 . A woman be under the 1 neces- 
sity of marrying ; if, 2. Her parents absolutely refuse 
to let her marry any Christian ; then she may, nay, 
ought to, marry without their consent. Yet, even then, 
a Methodist preacher ought not to marry her. 

" Quest. 23. May our ministers or travelling 
'preachers drink spirituous liquors ? 

" Ans. By no means, unless it he medicinally. 

" Quest. 24. (21.) Do not sabbath breaking, [dram 
drinking,] evil speaking, unprofitable conversation, 
lightness, expensiveness, or gayety of apparel, and con- 
tracting debts without due care to discharge them, still 
prevail in several places ? How may these evils be 
remedied 1 

"Ans. 1. Let us preach expressly on each of these 
heads. 2. Read in every society the ' Sermon on Evil 
Speaking.' 3. Let the leaders closely examine and 
exhort every person to put away the accursed thing. 



a." — Large Minutes. 



38 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784 

4. Let the preacher warn every society, that none who 
is guilty herein can remain with us. 5. Extirpate 
smuggling, buying or selling uncustomed goods, out of 
every society. 

" Let none remain with us, who will not totally 
abstain from every kind and degree of it. 

[" Speak tenderly, but earnestly, and frequently of it, in every 
society near the coasts ; and read, to them, and diligently dis- 
perse among them, the 'Word to a Smuggler.'] 

" 6. Extirpate bribery, receiving any thing, directly 
or indirectly, for voting in any election. Show no 
respect of persons herein, but expel all that touch the 
accursed thing. 

[" Largely show, both in public and private, the wickedness of 
thus selling our country. And everywhere read the ' Word to 
a Freeholder,' and disperse it with both hands.] 

" Quest. 25. (22.) What shall we* do to prevent 
scandal, when any of our members becomes a bankrupt ? 

" Ans. Let the assistant talk with him at large ; and 
if he has not kept fair accounts, [or has been concern- 
ed in that base practice of raising money by coining 
notes, (commonly called the bill trade,)] let him be ex- 
pelled immediately." 

" Quest. 26. What is the office of a superintendent 1 

" Ans. To ordain superintendents, elders, and dea- 
cons ; to preside as a moderator in our conferences ; to 
fix the appointments of the preachers for the several cir- 
cuits ; and, in the intervals of the conference, to change, 
receive or suspend preachers, as necessity may require ; 
and to receive appeals from the preachers and people, 
and decide them. 

" N. B. No person shall be ordained a superintend- 
ent, elder, or deacon, without the consent of a majority 
of the conference, and the consent and imposition of 
hands of a superintendent ; except in the instance pro- 
vided for in the 29th minute. 

" Quest. 27. To ivhomis the superintendent amena- 
ble for his conduct ? 

" Ans. To the conference : who have power to ex- 
pel him for improper conduct, if they see it necessary. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 3£ 

" Quest. 28. If the superintendent ceases from tra- 
velling at large among the people, shall he still exer 
cise his office in any degree 1 

"Ans. If he ceases from travelling without the con- 
sent of the conference, he shall not thereafter exercise 
any ministerial function whatsoever in our church. 

" Quest. 29. If by death, expulsion or otherwise, 
there be no superintendent remaining in our church, 
what shall we do ? 

"Ans. The conference shall elect a superintendent, 
and the elders, or any three of them, shall ordain him 
according to our Liturgy. 

" Quest. 30. What is the office of an elder ? 

" Ans. To administer the sacraments of baptism 
and the Lord's supper, and to perform all the other rites 
prescribed by our Liturgy. 

" Quest. 31. What is the office of a deacon ? 

" Ans. To baptize in the absence of an elder, to 
assist the elder in the administration of the Lord's sup- 
per, to marry, bury the dead, and read the Liturgy to 
the people as prescribed, except what relates to the ad- 
ministration of the Lord's supper. 

[" Quest. (23.) What is the office of a Christian minister 1 

" Ans. To watch over souls, as he that must give account. 

" Quest. (24.) In what view may we and our helpers be con- 
sidered "? 

" Ans. Perhaps as extraordinary messengers, (that is, out of 
the ordinary way,) designed, 1. To provoke the regular minis- 
ters to jealousy. 2. To supply their lack of service toward 
those who are perishing for want of knowledge. But how hard 
is it to abide here ! Who does not wish to be a little higher 1 
suppose, to be ordained !*] 

" Quest. 32. (25.) What is the office of a helper ? 

[" Ans. In the absence of a minister, to feed and guide the 
flock ; in particular,] 

"1. To preach. 

[" Morning and evening. (But he is never to begin later in 
the evening than seven o'clock, unless in particular cases.)] 



* This and similar passages in other parts of Mr. Wesley's writ- 
ings refer to the Methodists in England, whom he desired still to re- 
main as societies within the Church of England. See pp. 22-24. 



40 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

" 2. To meet the society and the bands weekly. 

"3. To visit the sick. 

" 4. (3.) To meet the leaders weekly. 

" Let every preacher be particularly exact in this, 
and in morning preaching. If he has twenty hear- 
ers, let him preach. [If not, let him sing and pray.] 

"N. B. We are fully determined never to drop 
morning preaching ; and to preach 1 at five, wherever it 
is practicable, [particularly in London and Bristol.] 

" Quest. 33. (26.) What are the rules of a helper? 

" Ans. 1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed [a 
moment.] Never be triflingly employed. Never while 
away time ; neither spend any more time at any place 
than is strictly necessary. 

" 2. Be serious. Let your motto be, ' Holiness to 
the Lord.' Avoid all lightness, jesting, and foolish 
talking. 

" 3. Converse sparingly and cautiously with women ; 
particularly with young women. 

"4. Take no step toward marriage, without first 
consulting with your brethren. 

" 5. Believe evil of no one ; unless you see it done, 
take heed how you credit it. Put the best construction 
on every thing. You know the judge is always sup- 
posed to be on the prisoner's side. 

"6. Speak evil of no one ; else your word especially 
would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts 
within your own breast till you come to the person 
concerned . 

" 7. Tell every one who is under your care, what 
you think wrong in his conduct and tempers, 2 and that 
plainly, as soon as may be ; else it will fester in your 
heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom. 

" 8. Do not affect the gentleman. You have no 
more to do with this character than with that of a 
dancing master. A preacher of the gospel is the ser- 
vant of all. 



continue preaching." — Large Minutes. 2 " him." — lb 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 41 

" 9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin : not of fetching 
wood (if time permit) or drawing water ; not of clean 
ing your own shoes, or your neighbour's. 

" 10. Be punctual. Do every thing exactly at the 
time. And [in general] do not mend our rules, but keep 
them ; not for wrath, but for conscience' sake. 

"11. You have nothing to do but to save souls. 
Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go 
always, not only to those that want you, but to those 
that want you most. 

" Observe : It is not your business to preach so 
many times, and to take care of this or that society ; 
but to save as many souls as you can ; to bring as 
many sinners as you possibly can to repentance, and 
with all your power to build them up in that holiness 
without which they cannot see the Lord. And remem 
ber ! A Methodist preacher is to mind every point, 
great and small, in the Methodist discipline ! Therefore 
you will need all the sense you have, and to have all 
your wits about you ! 

" 12. Act in all things, not according to your own 
will, but as a son in the gospel. As such, it is your 
part to employ your time in the manner which we 
direct ; partly in preaching and visiting from house to 
house ; partly in reading, meditation, and prayer. 
Above all, if you labour with us in our Lord's vineyard, 
it is needful that you should do that part of the work 
which we advise, at those times and places which 
we judge most for his glory. 

" N. B. No helper, or even deacon, shall on any 
'pretence at any time lohatsoever administer the Lord's 
supper. 

" Quest. 34. Will it be expedient to appoint some 
of our helpers to read the morning and evening service 
out of our Liturgy on the Lord's day. 

" Ans. It vjill. And, every helper toho receives a 
written direction under the hand of a superintendent, 
may regularly read the morning and evening service 
on the Lord's day. 



42 First Discipline of the M. E. Church. [1784 

" Quest. 35. How are we to proceed with those 
elders or deacons who cease from travelling? 

" Ans. Unless they have the permission of the con' 
ference declared under the hand of a superintendent, 
they are on no account to exercise any of the peculiar 
functions of those offices* among us. And if they do, 
they are to be expelled immediately. 

" Quest. 36. What method shall we take to prevent 
improper persons from preaching among us as travel- 
ling preachers ? 

" Ans. Let no person be employed as a travelling 
preacher, miless his name be printed, in the Minutes of 
the conference preceding, or a certificate be given him 
under the hand of one or other of the superintendents, 
or, in their absence, of three assistants, as is hereafter 
provided. And, for this purpose, let the Minutes of 
the conference be always printed. 

" Quest. 37. What shall be the regular annual 
salary of the elders, deacons, and helpers ? 

"Ans. Twenty four pounds, {Pennsylvania curren- 
cy,) and no more. 

" Quest. 38. What shall be annually allowed the 
wives of the married preachers ? , 

" Ans. Twenty -four pounds (Pennsylvania cur- 
rency) if they need it, and no more. 

" Quest. 39. How is this to be provided ? 

"Ans. By the circuits proportionably . 

" Quest. 40. What shall be allowed the married 
preachers for the support of their children 1 

"Ans. For each of their children under the age of 
six years, let them be allowed six pounds, {Pennsylva- 
nia currency :) and for each child of the age of six 
and under the age of eleven, eight pounds. 

" Quest. 41. Are there any directions to be given 
concerning the negroes ? 

" Ans. Let every preacher, as often as possible, 
meet them in class. And let the assistant always ap- 
point a proper white person as their leader, Let the 
assistants also make a, regular return to the conference 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 43 

of the number of negroes in society in their respective 
circuits. 

" Quest. 42. What methods can we take to extir 
pate slavery ? 

" Ans. We are deeply conscious of the impropriety 
of making new terms of communion for a religious so- 
ciety already established, excepting on the most press- 
ing occasion : and such we esteem the practice of hold- 
ing our fellow-creatures in slavery. We view it as 
contrary to the golden law of God on which hang all 
the law and the prophets, and the unalienable rights of 
mankind, as well as every principle of the revolution, 
to hold in the deepest debasement, in a more abject 
slavery than is perhaps to be found in any part of the 
world except America, so many souls that are all 
capable of the image of God. 

" We therefore think it our most bounden duty to 
take immediately some effectual method to extirpate 
this abomination from among us: and for that purpose 
we add the following to the rides of our society, viz. : 

" 1. Every member of our society who has slaves in 
his possession, shall, within twelve months after notice 
given to him by the assistant, {which notice the assist- 
ants are required immediately, and vnthout any delay, 
to give in their respective circuits,) legally execute and 
record an instrument, whereby he emancipates and sets 
free every slave in his possession who is between the 
ages of forty and forty -five immediately, or at farthest 
when they arrive at the age of forty-five. 

" And every slave who is between the ages of twenty- 
five and forty immediately, or at farthest at the expi- 
ration of five years from the date of the said instru- 
ment. 

" And every slave who is between the ages oftiventy 
and twenty-five immediately, or at farthest when they 
arrive at the age of thirty. 

" And every slave under the age of twenty, as soon 
as they arrive at the age of tioenty-five at farthest. 

" And every infant born in slavery after the above- 



44 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

mentioned rules are complied with, immediately on its 
birth. 

" 2. Every assistant shall keep a journal, in which 
he shall regularly minute down the names and ages of 
all the slaves belonging to all the masters in his re- 
spective circuit, and also the date of every instrument 
executed and recorded for the manumission of the 
slaves, with the name of the court, book, and folio, 
in which the said instruments respectively shall have 
been recorded : which journal shall be handed down 
in each circuit to the succeeding assistants. 

" 3. In consideration that these rules form a new 
term of communion, every person concerned, who will 
not comply with them, shall have liberty quietly to 
withdraw himself from our society within the twelve 
months succeeding the notice given as aforesaid: 
otherwise the assistant shall exclude him in the society. 

" 4. No person so voluntarily withdrawn, or so ex- 
cluded, shall ever partake of the supper of the Lord 
with the Methodists, till he complies with the above re- 
quisitions. 

" 5. No person holding slaves shall, in future, be 
admitted into society or to the LordJs swpper, till he 
'previously complies with these rules concerning slavery. 

" N. B. These rules are to affect the members of 
our society no farther than as they are consistent with 
the laws of the states in which they reside. 

" And respecting our brethren in Virginia that are 
concerned, and after due consideration of their pecu- 
liar circumstances, we allow them two years from the 
notice given, to consider the expedience of compliance 
or non-compliance with these rules. 

" Quest. 43. What shall be done with those who 
or sell slaves, or give them away ? 

" Ans. They are immediately to be expelled: unless 
they buy them on purpose to free them. 

" Quest. 44. Are there any directions to be given 
concerning the administration of the LorcVs supper ? 

" Ans. 1. Let it be recommended to the people to 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 45 

receive it kneeling : but let them at the same time be 
informed that they may receive it either standing or 
sitting. 

" 2. Let no person ivho is not a member of the society 
be admitted to the communion without a sacrament 
ticket, which ticket must be changed every quarter. 
And we empower the elder or assistant, and no others, 
to deliver these tickets. 

" Quest. 45. Ls there any direction to be given con- 
cerning the administration of baptism 1 

" Ans. Let every adult person, and the parents of 
every child, to be baptized, have their choice either of 
immersion or sprinkling, and let the elder or deacon 
conduct himself accordingly. 

" Quest. 46. What shall be done with those who were 
baptized in their infancy, but have now scruples con- 
cerning the validity of infant baptism ? 

" Ans. Remove their scruples by argument, if you 
can ; if not, the office may be performed by immersion 
or sprinkling, as the person desires. 

" Quest. 47. Shall persons ivho continue to attend 
divine service and partake of the LoraVs supper with 
other churches, have liberty at the same time to be 
members of our society ? 

" Ans. They shall have full liberty, if they comply 
with our rules. 

11 Quest. 48. Are there any directions to be given 
concerning the fees of office ? 

" Ans. We will on no account whatsoever suffer any 
elder or deacon among us to receive a fee or present 
for administering the ordinance of marriage, bap- 
tism, or the burial of the dead. Freely ive have 
received, and freely we will give. 

[" Quest. (27.) What power is this which you exercise over 
both the preachers and the societies % 

" Ans. Count Zinzendorf loved to keep all things close : I love 
to do all things openly. I will therefore tell you all I know of 
the matter, taking it from the very beginning. 

" 1. In November, 1738, two or three persons who desired ' to 
flee from the wrath to come,' and then a few more, came to me 

4 



46 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

in London, and desired me to advise and pray with them. I said, 
' If you will meet me on Thursday night, I will help you as well 
as I can.' More and more then desired to meet with them, till 
they were increased to many hundreds. The case was after- 
ward the same at Bristol, Kingswood, Newcastle, and many 
other parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland. It may be ob- 
served, the desire was on their part, not mine. My desire was, 
to live and die in retirement. But I did not see that I could re- 
fuse them my help, and be guiltless before God. 

" Here commenced my power ; namely, a power to appoint 
when, and where, and how they should meet ; and to remove 
those whose lives showed that they had not a desire ' to flee from 
the wrath to come.' And this power remained the same, whether 
the people meeting together were twelve, or twelve hundred, or 
twelve thousand. 

" 2. In a few days some of them said, ' Sir, we will not sit 
under you for nothing ; we will subscribe quarterly.' I said, ' I 
will have nothing ; for I want nothing. My fellowship supplies me 
with all I want.' One replied, ' Nay, but you want a hundred 
and fifteen pounds to pay for the lease of the Foundry ; and like- 
wise a large sum of money to put it into repair.' On this conside- 
ration, I suffered them to subscribe. And when the society met, 
I asked, ' Who will take the trouble of receiving this money, and 
paying it where it is needful V One said, ' I will do it, and keep 
the account for you.' So here was the first steward. After 
ward, I desired one or two more to help me, as stewards, and, in 
process of time, a greater number. 

" Let it be remarked, it was I myself, not the people, who 
chose these stewards, and appointed to each the distinct work 
wherein he was to help me, as long as I desired. And herein I 
began to exercise another sort of power ; namely, that of appoint- 
ing and removing stewards. 

" 3. After a time a young man, named Thomas Maxfield, 
came and desired to help me as a son in the gospel. Soon after 
came a second, Thomas Richards ; and then a third, Thomas 
Westell. These severally desired to serve me as sons, and to 
labour when and where I should direct. Observe : these like- 
wise desired me, not I them. But I durst not refuse their 
assistance. And here commenced my power, to appoint each of 
these when, and where, and how to labour ;. that is, while he 
chose to continue with me. For each had a power to go away 
when he pleased ; as I had also, to go away from them, or any 
of them, if I saw sufficient cause. The case continued the same 
when the number of preachers increased. I had just the same 
power still, to appoint w r hen, and where, and how each should 
help me ; and to tell any, (if I saw cause,) ' I do not desire your 
help any longer.' On these terms, and no other, we ioined at 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 47 

first : on these we continue joined. But they do me no favour 
in being directed by me. It is true, my ' reward is with the 
Lord :' but at present I have nothing from it but trouble and care : 
and often a burden I scarce know how to bear. 

" 4. In 1744 I wrote to several clergymen, and to all who 
then served me as sons in the gospel, desiring them to meet me 
in London, and to give me their advice concerning the best 
method of carrying on the work of God. And when their num- 
ber increased, so that it was not convenient to invite them all, 
for several years I wrote to those with whom I desired to confer, 
and they only met me at London, or elsewhere ; till at. length I 
gave a general permission, which I afterward saw cause to 
retract 

" Observe : 1 myself sent for these of my own free choice. 
And I sent for them to advise, not govern, me. Neither did I 
at any time divest myself of any part of the power above de- 
scribed, which the providence of God had cast upon me, without 
any design or choice of mine. 

" 5. What is that power 1 It is a power of admitting into, and 
excluding from, the societies under my care ; of choosing and 
removing stewards ; of receiving or not receiving helpers ; of 
appointing them when, where, and how to help me, and of de- 
siring any of them to confer with me when I see good. And as 
it was merely in obedience to the providence of God, and for the 
good of the people, that I at first accepted this power, which I 
never sought ; so it is on the same consideration, not for profit, 
honour, or pleasure, that I use it at this day. 

" 6. But ' several gentlemen are offended at your having so 
much power.' I did not seek any part of it. But when it was 
come unawares, not daring to ' bury that talent,' I used it to the 
best of my judgment. Yet I never was fond of it. I always 
did, and do now, bear it as my burden ; — the burden which God 
bys upon me, and therefore I dare not lay it down. 

" But if you can tell me any one, or any five men, to whom I 
may transfer this burden, who can and will do just what I do 
now, I will heartily thank both them and you. 

" 7. But some of our helpers say, ' This is shackling freeborn 
Englishmen ;' and demand a free conference, that is, a meeting 
of all the preachers, wherein all things shall be determined by 
most votes. I answer, It is possible, after my death, something 
of this kind may take place ; but not while I live. To me the 
preachers have engaged themselves to submit, to serve me as 
sons in the gospel ; but they are not thus engaged to any man 
or number of men besides. To me the people in general will 
submit ; but they will not thus submit to any other. 

' : It is nonsense, then, to call my using this power, 'shack- 
ing freeborn Englishmen.' None needs to submit to it unless 



48 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784, 

he will ; so that there is no shackling in the case. Every 
preacher and every member may leave me when he pleases. 
But while he chooses to stay, it is on the same terms that he 
joined me at first. 

" ' But this is making yourself a pope.' This carries no face 
of truth. The pope affirms that every Christian must do all he 
bids, and believe all he says, under pain of damnation. I never 
affirmed any thing that bears any the most distant resemblance to 
this. All I affirm is, the preachers who choose to labour with 
me, choose to serve me as sons in the gospel. And the people 
who choose to be under my care, choose to be so on the same 
terms they were at first. 

" Therefore all talk of this kind is highly injurious to me, who 
bear the burden merely for your sake. And it is exceeding 
mischievous to the people, tending to confound their understand- 
ing, and to fill their hearts with evil surmisings and unkind tem- 
pers toward me ; to whom they really owe more, for taking all 
this load upon me, for exercising this very power, for shackling 
myself in this manner, than for all my preaching put together ; 
because preaching twice or thrice a day is no burden to me at 
all ; but the care of all the preachers and all the people is a bur- 
den indeed ! 

" Quest. (28.) What reason can be assigned why so many of 
our preachers contract nervous disorders ] 

" Arts. The chief reason, on Dr. Cadogan's principles, is 
either indolence or intemperance. 1. Indolence. Several of 
them use too little exercise, far less than when they wrought at 
their trade. And this will naturally pave the way for many, 
especially nervous, disorders. 2. Intemperance, — though not in 
the vulgar sense. They take more food than they did when they 
laboured more : and let any man of reflection judge how long this 
will consist with health. Or they use more sleep than when 
they laboured more : and this alone will destroy the firmness of 
the nerves. If, then, our preachers would avoid nervous disor- 
ders, let them, 1. Take as little meat, drink, and sleep as na- 
ture will bear ; and, 2. Use full as much exercise daily as they 
did before they were preachers.] 

' ; Quest. 49. (29.) What general method of employ- 
ing our time would you advise us to ? 

" Ans. We advise you, 1 . As often as possible to 
rise at four. 2. From four to five in the morning, 
and from five to six in the evening, to meditate, pray, 
and read, partly the Scriptures with Mr. Wesley's 
Notes, 1 partly the closely practical parts of what he 

1 " the Notes." — Large Minutes. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 49 



has 1 published. 3. From six in the morning til] 
twelve, (allowing an hour for breakfast,) to read in 
order, with much prayer, [first,] 'The Christian Li- 
brary,' and other pious books. 2 

[" Quest. (30.) Should our helpers follow trades 1 

" Ans. The question is not, whether they may occasionally 
work with their hands, as St. Paul did, but whether it be proper 
for them to keep shop or follow merchandise. After long consi- 
deration, it was agreed by all our brethren, that no preacher who 
will not relinquish his trade of buying and selling, (though it were 
only pills, drops, or balsams.) shall be considered as a travelling 
preacher any longer.] 

" Quest. 50. (31.) Why is it that the people under 
our care are no better ? 

" Ans. Other reasons may concur ; but the chief is, 
because we are not more knowing and more holy. 

" Quest. 51. (32.) But why are we not more know- 
ing ? 

" Ans. Because we are idle. We forget our very first 
rule, ' Be diligent. Never be unemployed [a moment.] 
Never be triflingly employed. Never while away 
time ; neither spend any more time at any place than 
is strictly necessary.' 

" I fear there is altogether a fault in this matter, and 
that few of us are clear. Which of you spends as 
many hours a day in God's work, as you did formerly 
in man's work ? We talk, — or read history, or what 
comes next to hand. We must, absolutely must, cure 
this evil, or betray the cause of God. 

"But how? 1. Read the most useful books, and 
that regularly and constantly. Steadily spend all the 
morning in this employ, or, at least, five hours in four 
and twenty. 

['"But I read only the. Bible.' Then you ought to teach 
others to read only the Bible, and, by parity of reason, to hear 
only the Bible : but if so, you need preach no more. Just so 
said George Bell. And what is the fruit 1 Why, now he nei- 

1 " we have." — Large Minutes. 

2 " the other books which we have published in prose and verse, 
and then those which we recommended in our rules of Kingswood 
school." — Ibid. * 



50 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

ther reads the Bible, nor any thing else. This is rank enthusi- 
asm. If you need no book but the Bible, you are got above St. 
Paul. He wanted others too. ' Bring the books,' says he, 'but 
especially the parchments,' those wrote on parchment.] 

" ' But I have no taste for reading.' Contract a 
taste for it by use, or return to your trade. 

" ' But I have no books.' [I will give earh of you, 
as fast as you will read them, books to the value of five 
pounds.] And we 1 desire the assistants wilP take 
care that all the large societies provide Mr. Wesley's 3 
Works, [or at least the Notes,] for the use of the 
preachers. 

"2. In the afternoon follow Mr. Baxter's plan. 
Then you will have no time to spare : you will have 
work enough for all your time. Then, likewise, no 
preacher will stay with us who is as salt that has lost 
its savour. For to such this employment would be 
mere drudgery. And in order to it, you will have need 
of all the knowledge you [have, or] can procure. 

" The sum is, Go into every house in course, and 
teach every one therein, young and old, if they belong 
to us, to be Christians inwardly and outwardly. 

" Make every particular plain to their understanding; 
fix it in their memory ; write it on their heart. In or- 
der to this, there must be ' line upon line, precept upon 
precept.' What patience, what love, what knowledge 
is requisite for this ! 

[" Quest. (33.) In what particular method should we instruct 
them 1 ? 

" Ans. You may, as you have time, read, explain, enforce, 
1. 'The Rules of the Society.' 2. ' Instructions for Child- 
ren.' 3. The fourth volume of ' Sermons.' And, 4. Philip 
Henry's 'Method of Family Prayer.'] 

" We must needs do this, were it only to avoid idle- 
ness. Do we not loiter away many hours in every 
week? Each try himself: no idleness is consistent* 
with growth in grace. Nay, without exactness in re- 



1 " I." — Large Minutes. 2 " would." — Ibid. 3 " our." — Ibid. 
* " can consist." — Ibid. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 51 

deeming time, you cannot retain the grace you received 
in justification. 

" But what shall we do for the rising generation ? 
[Unless we take care of this, the present revival will be 
res unius (Btatis ; it will last only the age of a man.] 
Who will labour for them ? l Let him who is zealous 
for God and the souls of men begin now. 

" 1. Where there are ten children, whose parents 
ore in society, 2 meet them at least an hour every week. 

" 2. Talk with them every time you see any at 
home. 

" 3. Pray in earnest for them. 

" 4. Diligently instruct and vehemently exhort all 
parents at their own houses. 

" 5. Preach expressly on education, [particularly at 
midsummer, when you speak of Kingswood.] ' But I 
have no gift for this.' Gift or no gift, you are to do it; 
else you are not called to be a Methodist preacher. Do 
it as you can, till you can do it as you would. Pray 
earnestly for the gift, and use the means for it. [Par- 
ticularly, study the ' Instructions' and ' Lessons for 
Children.'] 

" Quest. 52. (34.) Why are not we more holy? 
Why do not we live in eternity ; walk with God all 
the day long ? Why are we not all devoted to God ; 
breathing the whole spirit of missionaries ? 

" Ans. Chiefly because we are enthusiasts ; looking 
for the end without using the means. To touch only 
upon two or three instances : Who of you rises at four 
[in summer;] or even at five, when he does not preach ? 
Do you recommend to all our societies the five o'clock 
hour for private prayer ? Do you observe it, or any 
other fixed time ? Do not you find, by experience, that 
any time is no time ? Do you know the obligation and 
the benefit of fasting ? How often do you practise it ? 
The neglect of this alone is sufficient to account for 
cur feebleness and faintness of spirit. We are con- 

1 " herein." — Large Minutes, 8 ** in a society,"— Ibid. 



52 Fust Discipline of the M. E. Church, LI 784. 

tinually grieving the Holy Spirit of God by the habit- 
ual neglect of a plain duty ! Let us amend from this 
hour. 

" Quest. 53. (35.) But how can I fast, since it hurts 
my health ? 

" Ans. There are several degrees of fasting which 
cannot hurt your health. We 1 will instance in one : Let 
us 2 every Friday (beginning on the next) avow this 
duty throughout the continent, 3 by touching no tea, 
coffee, or chocolate in the morning ; but (if we want it) 
half a pint of milk or water gruel. Let us dine on ve- 
getables* and (if we need it) eat three or four ounces 
of flesh in the evening. At other times let us eat no 
flesh suppers : these exceedingly tend to breed nervous 
disorders. 

" Quest. 54. (36.) What is the best general method 
of preaching ? 

"Ans. [1. To invite.] 1. (2.) To convince. 
2. (3.) To offer Christ. 3. (4.) To build up ; and to 
do this in some measure in every sermon. 

" Quest. 55. (37.) Are there any smaller advices re- 
lative to preaching which might be of use to us ? 

"Ans. Perhaps these : 1. Be sure never to disap- 
point a congregation, unless in case of life or death. 

" 2. Begin [and end] precisely at the time appointed. 

"3. Let your whole deportment before the congre- 
gation be serious, weighty, and solemn. 

" 4. Always suit your subject to your audience. 

" 5. Choose the plainest texts you can. 

" 6. Take care not to ramble ; but keep to your text, 
and make out what you take in hand. 

[" (7.) Be sparing in allegorizing or spiritualizing.] 

" 7. (8.) Take care of any thing awkward or affect- 
ed, either in your gesture, phrase, or pronunciation. 

" 8. (9.) Sing no hymns of your own composing. 

"9, (10.) Print nothing without the approbation of 
one or other of the superintendents. 5 

1 " I." — Large Minutes. 2 " you and I." — lb. 3 " nation."- -lb. 
* " potatoes." — lb. 5 " my approbation." — lb. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 53 

"10 (11.) Do not usually pray ex tempore above 
eight or ten minutes (at most) without intermission. 

" 11. (12.) Frequently read and enlarge upon a por- 
tion of the Notes. And let young preachers often ex- 
hort, without taking a text. 

[" (13.) In repeating the Lord's prayer, remember to say 
1 hallowed,' not hollowed ; ' trespass against us ;' ' amen.' 

" (14.) Repeat this prayer aloud after the minister, as often 
as he repeats it. (15.) Repeat after him aloud every confes- 
sion, and both the doxologies in the communion service.] 

"12. (16.) Always kneel during public prayer. 

" 13. (17.) Everywhere avail yourself of the great 
festivals, by preaching on the occasion, 

[" And sing the hymns, which you should take care to have 
in readiness. 

" (18.) Avoid quaint words, however in fashion, as object, ori- 
ginate, very, high, &c. 

" (19.) Avoid the fashionable impropriety of leaving out the u 
in many words, as honor, vigor, &c. This is mere childish af- 
fectation.] 

" 14. (20.) Beware of clownishness, [either in speech 
or dress. Wear no slouched hat.] Be courteous to all. 

" 15. (21.) Be merciful to your beast. Not only ride 
moderately, but see with your own eyes that your horse 
be rubbed, and fed. 1 

" Quest. 56. (38.) Have not some of us been led off 
from practical preaching by what was called preaching 
Christ ? 

"Am. Indeed we have. The most effectual way 
of preaching Christ, is to preach him in all his offices, 
and to declare his law as well as his gospel, both to 
believers and unbelievers. Let us strongly and closely 
insist upon inward and outward holiness in all its 
branches. 

" Quest. 57. (39.) How shall we guard against for- 
mality [in public worship ; particularly] in singing ? 

"Am. [1. By preaching frequently on the head. 
2. By taking care to speak only what we feel.] 1 . (3.) By 

1 " fed and bedded." — Large Minutes. The American preachers 
of that day could not always find beds for themselves, much less for 
their horses. 



54 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

choosing such hymns as are proper for the congrega- 
tion. 2. (4.) By not singing too much at once ; sel- 
dom more than five or six verses. 3. (5.) By suiting 
the tune to the words. 4. (6.) By often stopping short 
and asking the people, ' Now, do you know what you 
said last ? Did you speak no more than you felt V 

[" Is not this formality creeping in already by those complex 
tunes, which it is scarcely possible to sing with devotion ? Such 
is, ' Praise the Lord, ye blessed ones :' such the long quavering 
hallelujah annexed to the morning song tune, which I defy any 
man living to sing devoutly. The repeating the same words so 
often, (but especially while another repeats different words, the 
horrid abuse which runs through the modern church music,) as 
it shocks all common sense, so it necessarily brings in dead 
formality, and has no more of religion in it than a Lancashire 
hornpipe. Besides, it is a flat contradiction to our Lord's com- 
mand, ' Use not vain repetitions.' For what is a vain repetition, 
if this is not 1 What end of devotion does it serve ? Sing no 
anthems.] 

" 5. (7.) Do not suffer the people to sing too slow. 
This naturally tends to formality, and is brought in by 
them who have either very strong or very weak voices. 
6. (8.) In every large society let them learn to sing ; and 
let them always learn our own tunes first. 7. (9.) Let 
the women constantly sing their parts alone. Let no 
man sing with them, unless he understands the notes, 
and sings the bass, as it is pricked down in the tune- 
book. 8. (10.) Introduce no new tunes, till they are 
perfect in the old. [(11.) Let no organ be placed any- 
where, till proposed in the conference.] 9. (12.) Re- 
commend our tune-book everywhere ; and if you can- 
not sing yourself, choose a person or two in each place 
to pitch the tune for you. 10. (13.) Exhort every 
one in the congregation to sing, not one in ten only. 
11. (14.) If a preacher be present, let no singer give 
out the words. 12. (15.) When they would teach a 
tune to the congregation, they must sing only the tenor. 

[" After preaching, take a little lemonade, mild ale, or can- 
died orange-peel. All spirituous liquors, at that time especially, 
are deadly poison.] 

" Quest. 58. (40.) Who is the assistant ? 

" Arts. That preacher in each circuit who is appoint- 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 55 

ed, from time to time, to assist the superintendents in 
the 1 charge of the societies and the other preachers 
therein. 

" Quest. 59. (41.) How should an assistant be qua- 
lified for his charge ? 

" Ans. By walking closely with God, and having 
his work greatly at heart ; and by understanding and 
loving discipline, ours in particular ; 

[" And by loving the Church of England, and resolving not 
to separate from it. Let this be well observed. I fear, when 
the Methodists leave the Church, God will leave them. But if 
they are thrust out of it, they will be guiltless.*] 

" Quest. 60. (42.) What is the business of an as- 
sistant ? 

" Ans. 1. To see that the other preachers in his cir- 
cuit behave well, and want nothing. 2. To renew the 
tickets quarterly, and regulate the bands. 2 3. To take 
in or put out of the society or the bands. 4. To appoint 
all the stewards and leaders, and change them when 
he sees it necessary. 5. (4.) To keep watch-nights 
and love-feasts. 6. (5.) To hold quarterly meetings, and 
therein diligently to inquire both into the temporal and 
spiritual state of each society. 7. (6.) To take care that 
every society be duly supplied with books ; particularly 
with ' Kempis,' ' Instructions for Children,' and the 
' Primitive Physic,' which ought to be in every house. 
[0 why is not this regarded ! (7.) To send from every 
quarterly meeting a circumstantial account to London 
of every remarkable conversion and remarkable death.] 
8. To take exact lists of his societies, and bring them 
to the conference? 9. To send an account of his cir- 

1 " to take." — Large Minutes. 

* This passage is found in the original Minutes for 1749. The fact 
that it was continued in an edition of the Large Minutes, which was 
revised four years after the organization of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, affords conclusive evidence that Mr. Wesley did not consider 
that the Methodists in America had separated from or left the Church 
of England ; but that the connection between them was providen- 
tially dissolved. (See above, pp. 22-25.) 

2 " To visit the classes quarterly, regulate the bands, and deliver 
tickets." — lb. 3 " every quarter, and send them up to London." — lb. 



56 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

cuit every half year to one of the superintendents. 
10. (9.) To meet the married men and women, and 
the single men and women, in the large societies once 
a quarter. 11. (10.) To overlook the accounts of all 
the stewards. 

[" Quest. (43.) Has the office of an assistant been well exe- 
cuted ] 

" Ans. No, not by half the assistants. 1. Who has sent me 
word, whether the other preachers behave well or ill ? 2. Who 
has visited all the classes, and regulated the bands quarterly 1 
3. Love-feasts for the bands have been neglected : neither have 
persons been duly taken in and put out of the bands. 4. The 
societies are not half supplied with books ; not even with those 
above mentioned. O exert yourselves in this ! Be not weary ! 
Leave no stone unturned ! 5. How few accounts have I had, 
either of remarkable deaths, or remarkable conversions ! 
6. How few exact lists of the societies ! 7. How few have met 
the married and single persons once a quarter !] 

" Quest. 61. (44.) Are there any other directions 1 
which you would give the assistants ? 

"Ans. Several. 1. Take a regular catalogue of 
your societies, as they live in house-row. 2. Leave 
your successor a particular account of the state of the 
circuit. 3. See that every band leader has the rules 
of the bands. 4. Vigorously, but calmly, enforce the 
rules concerning needless ornaments, and drams. 2 
[Give no band ticket to any man or woman who does 
not promise to leave them off.] 5. As soon as there are 
four men or women believers in any place, put them into 
a band. 6. Suffer no love-feast to last above an hour and 
a half; [and instantly stop all breaking the cake with 
one another.] 7. Warn all, from time to time, that 
none are to remove from one society to another with- 
out a certificate from the assistant in these words : (else 
he will not be received in other societies :) 'A. B., the 
bearer, is a member of our society in C. : I believe he 
has sufficient cause for removing.' [I beg every as- 
sistant to remember this.] 8. Everywhere recom- 
mend decency and cleanliness : [cleanliness is next tc 

1 " advices." — Large Minutes. 

3 " drams, snuff, and tobacco." — Ibid. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 57 

godliness.] 9. Read the rules of the society ', with the 
aid of your helpers, once a year in every congrega- 
tion, and once a quarter in every society. 

[" (9.) Exhort all that were brought up in the Church, to 
continue therein. Set the example yourself; and immediately 
change every plan that would hinder their being at church at 
least two Sundays in four. Carefully avoid whatever has a 
tendency to separate men from the Church ; and let all the 
servants in our preaching houses go to church once on Sunday 
at least. 

" Is there not a cause ? Are we not unawares, by little and 
little, sliding into a separation from the Church ? use every 
means to prevent this ! 1. Exhort all our people to keep close 
to the Church and sacrament. 2. Warn them all against nice- 
ness in hearing — a prevailing evil. 3. Warn them also against 
despising the prayers of the Church. 4. Against calling our 
society, 'the Church.' 5. Against calling our preachers, 
'ministers;' our houses, 'meeting houses:' call them plain 
preaching houses or chapels. 6. Do not license them as 
dissenters. The proper paper to be sent in at the assizes, 
sessions, or bishop's court, is this: 'A. B. has set apart his 
house in C. for public worship, of which he desires a certificate.' 
N. B. The justice does not license the house, but the act of 
parliament. 7. Do not license yourself till you are constrained ; 
and then, not as a dissenter, but a Methodist. It is time enough 
when you are prosecuted to take the oaths. And by so doing 
you are licensed. 

" Quest. (45.) But are we not dissenters 1 

" Ans. No : although we call sinners to repentance in all 
places of God's dominion ; and although we frequently use ex- 
temporary prayer, and unite together in a religious society ; yet 
we are not dissenters in the only sense which our law acknow- 
ledges, namely, those who renounce the service of the Church. 
We do not, we dare not, separate from it. We are not seced- 
ers, nor do we bear any resemblance to them. We set out upon 
quite opposite principles. The seceders laid the very founda- 
tion of their work in judging and condemning others : we laid 
the foundation of our work in judging and condemning ourselves. 
They begin everywhere with showing their hearers how fallen the 
Church and ministers are : we begin everywhere with showing 
our hearers how fallen they are themselves. What they do in 
America, or what their Minutes say on this subject, is nothing 
to us.* We will keep in the good old way. 



* This sentence was obviously introduced into the Large Minutes 
subsequently to 1784, and seems to refer to the Minutes, or Discipline 



58 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

" And never let us make light of going to church, either by- 
word or deed. Remember Mr. Hook, a very eminent and a 
zealous Papist. When I asked him, ' Sir, what do you do for 
public worship here, where you have no Romish service V he 
answered, ' Sir, I am so fully convinced it is the duty of every 
man to worship God in public, that I go to church every Sunday. 
If I cannot have such worship as I would, I will have such wor- 
ship as I can.' 

" But some may say, ' Our own service is public worship.' 
Yes ; but not such as supersedes the Church service ; it pre- 
supposes public prayer, like the sermons at the university. If 
it were designed to be instead of the Church service, it would 
be essentially defective ; for it seldom has the four grand parts 
of public prayer, deprecation, petition, intercession, and thanks- 
giving. 

" If the people put ours in the room of the Church service, 
we hurt them that stay with us, and ruin them that leave us ; 
for then they will go nowhere, but lounge the sabbath away 
without any public worship at all. 

" Quest. (46.) Nay, but is it not our duty to separate from the 
Church, considering the wickedness both of the clergy and the 
people ? 

u Ans. We conceive not : 1. Because both the priests and the 
people were full as wicked in the Jewish Church ; and yet it 
was not the duty of the holy Israelites to separate from them. 
2. Neither did our Lord command his disciples to separate from 
them ; he rather commanded the contrary. 3. Hence it is 
clear that could not be the meaning of St. Paul's words : ' Come 
out from among them, and be ye separate.' 

" Quest. (47.) But what reasons are there why we should 
not separate from the Church 1 

" Ans. Among others, those which were printed above twenty 
years ago, entitled, ' Reasons against a Separation from the 
Church of England.' 

"We allow two exceptions : 1. If the parish minister be a 
notoriously wicked man. 2. If he preach Socinianism, Arian- 
ism, or any other essentially false doctrine.*] 

" Quest. 62. Are there any directions to he given 
the assistant concerning the decision of disputes among 
the people 1 

" Ans. On any dispute of importance, or difficult 



of 1789, (1787?) in which very strong language was used with re- 
ference to the condition of the Church of England. (See below, 
part i, chap, i, sec. 1 ; and above, pp. 22-25.) 
* See note, p. 39. 



1 784 ] Compared with the Large Minutes. 59 

to be settled, let the assistant inquire into the circum- 
stances, and, having consulted the stewards and lead- 
ers, appoint referees, ivhose decision shall be final, and 
the party expelled that refuses to abide by it : unless 
there appear to the assistant some fraud or gross mis- 
take in the decision, in which case he shall appoint 
new referees, for a rehearing of the cause, ivhose de- 
cision shall be absolutely final. 

" Quest. 63. Are there any further directions need- 
ful for the preservation of good order among the 
preachers 1 

" Ans. In the absence of a superintendent, a tra- 
velling preacher or three leaders shall have power to 
lodge a complaint against any preacher in their cir- 
cuit, whether elder, assistant, deacon, or helper, before 
three neighbouring assistants ; who shall meet at cm 
appointed time, {proper notice being given to the par- 
ties,) hear, and decide the cause. And authoi'ity is 
given them to change or suspend a preacher, if they 
see it necessary, and to appoint another in his place, 
during the absence of the superintendents. 

" Quest. 64. If there happen to be a vacancy in a 
circuit by the death of a preacher, by his withdraw- 
ing himself from the toork, or otherwise, in the 
absence of a superintendent, ivho are to fill up the 
vacancy ? 

" Ans. Three neighbouring assistants, called and 
assembled according to the preceding minute. 

" Quest. 65. What shall we do with those members 
of our society who wilfully and repeatedly neglect to 
meet their class ? 

" Ans. 1. Let the assistant or one of his helpers 
visit them, wherever it is practicable, and explain to 
them the consequence, if they continue to neglect^ 
namely, exclusion. 

" 2. If they do not amend, let the assistant exclude 
them in the society, informing it that they are laid 
aside for a breach of our rules of Discipline, and not 
for immoral conduct. 



60 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784.' 

" Quest. 66. (48.) Do we sufficiently watch over 
each other ?1 

" Arts. We do not. 2 Should we not frequently ask 
each other, Do you walk closely with God ? Have 
you now fellowship with the Father and the Son? 
At what hour do you rise ? Do you punctually ob- 
serve the morning and evening hour of retirement ? 
Do you spend the day in the manner which the con- 
ference advises ? 3 Do you converse seriously, use- 
fully, and closely ? To be more particular : Do you 
use all the means of grace yourself, and enforce the 
use of them on all other persons ? 

" They are either instituted or prudential :— 

" I. The instituted are, 

"1. Prayer; private, family, public; consisting ot 
deprecation, petition, intercession, and thanksgiving. 
Do you use each of these? Do you use private 
prayer every morning and evening ? if you can, at five 
in the evening ; and the hour before or after morning 
preaching ? Do you forecast daily, wherever you are, 
how to secure these hours ? Do you avow it every- 
where ? Do you ask everywhere, ' Have you family 
prayer?' Do you retire at five o'clock 1 

" 2. Searching the Scriptures by, 

" i. Reading : constantly, some part of every day ; 
regularly, all the Bible in order ; carefully, with Mr. 
Wesley's 4 ' Notes ; seriously, with prayer before and 
after ; fruitfully, immediately practising what you 
learn there ? 

" ii. Meditating : At set times ? by any rule ? 

" iii Hearing : Every morning ? carefully ; with 
prayer before, at, after ; immediately putting in prac- 
tice ? Have you a New Testament always about 
you? 

" 3. The Lord's supper : Do you use this at every 



1 " our helpers." — Large Minutes. 

a " We might consider those that are with us as our pupils ; into 
whose behaviour and studies we should inquire every day." — lb. 
3 " we advise." — lb. 4 " the." — lb. 



1784. J Compared with the Large Minutes. 61 

opportunity ? with solemn prayer before ; with earnest 
and deliberate self-devotion ? 

" 4. Fasting : How do you fast every Friday ? 

" 5. Christian conference : Are you convinced how 
important and how difficult it is to ' order your conver- 
sation aright ?' Is it * always in grace ? seasoned with 
salt ? meet to minister grace to the hearers ? Do not 
you converse too long at a time ? Is not an hour com- 
monly enough ? Would it not be well always to have 
a determinate end in view ; and to pray before and 
after it? 

" II. Prudential means we may use either as com- 
mon Christians, as Methodists, as preachers, or as 
assistants. 

"1. As common Christians. What particular rules 
have you in order to grow in grace ? What arts of 
holy living ? 

"2. As Methodists. Do you never miss your class, 
or band ? 

"3. As preachers. Do you meet every society ; 
also the leaders and bands, if any ? 

"4. As assistants. Have you throughly considered 
your office ; and do you make a conscience of exe- 
cuting every part of it ? 

" These means may be used without fruit : but 
there are some means which cannot ; namely, watch- 
ing, denying ourselves, taking up our cross, exercise 
of the presence of God. 

" 1. Do you steadily watch against the world, the 
devil, yourselves, your besetting sin ? 

" 2. Do you deny yourself every useless pleasure 
of sense, imagination, honour ? Are you temperate in 
all things ? instance in food : do you use only that kind 
and that degree which is best both for your body and 
soul ? Do you see the necessity of this ? Do you eat 
no flesh suppers ? no late suppers ? Do you eat no 
more at each meal than is necessary ? Are you not 
heavy or drowsy after dinner ? Do you use only that 
kind and that degree of drink which is best both for 
5 



62 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

your body and soul ? Do you drink water ? Why 
not ? Did you ever ? Why did you leave it off ? If 
not for health, when will you begin again ? to-day ? 
How often do you drink wine [or ale ?] every day ? 
Do you want it ? 

"3. Wherein do you 'take up your cross daily?' 
Do you cheerfully bear your cross (whatever is griev- 
ous to nature) as a gift of God, and labour to profit 
thereby ? 

"4. Do you endeavour to set God always before 
vou ; to see his eye continually fixed upon you ? 
Never can you use these means but a blessing will 
ensue. And the more you use them, the more will 
you grow in grace. 

" Quest. 67. (49.) What can be done, in order to a 
closer union of our helpers with each other ? 

"Am. 1. Let them be deeply convinced of [the 
want there is of it at present, and] the absolute neces- 
sity of it. 

" 2. Let them pray for a desire of union. 

" 3. Let them speak freely to each other. 

"4. When they meet let them never part without 
prayer. 

" 5. Let them beware how they despise each other's 
gifts. 

"6. Let them never speak slightingly of each other 
in any kind. 

" 7. Let them defend one another's characters in 
every thing, so far as consists with truth : and, 

" 8. Let them labour in honour each to prefer the 
other before himself. 

" Quest. 68. (50.) How shall we try those whc 
think they are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach ? 

" Ans. Inquire, 1. Do they know God as a pardon- 
ing God ? Have they the love of God abiding in 
them? Do they desire and seek nothing but God) 
And are they holy in all manner of conversation ? 
2. Have they gifts (as well as grace) for the work? 
Have they (in some tolerable degree) a clear, sound 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 63 

understanding ? Have they a right judgment in the 
things of God ? Have they a just conception of sal- 
vation by faith ? And has God given them any degree 
of utterance ? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly ? 
3. Have they fruit? Are any truly convinced of sin, 
and converted to God, by their preaching ? 

" As long as these three marks concur in any one, 
we believe he is called of God to preach. These we 
receive as sufficient proof that he is ' moved thereto 
by the Holy Ghost.' 

" Quest. 69. (51.) What method may we use in 
receiving a new helper ? 

" Ans. A proper time for doing this is at a confer- 
ence, after solemn fasting and prayer. 

" Every person proposed shall then be asked (with 
any other questions ivhich may be thought necessary by 
the conference) the following?- namely, Have you faith 
in Christ ? Are you ' going on to perfection V Do you 
expect to be * perfected in love' in this life ? Are you 
groaning after it ? Are you resolved to devote your- 
self wholly to God and to his work ? Do you know 
the Methodist plan 1 [Have you read the ' Plain Ac- 
count V the ' Appeals ?'] Do you know the rules of 
the society ? of the bands ? Do you keep them ? Do 
you take no [snuff, tobacco,] drams ? Do you con- 
stantly attend the [church and] sacrament ? Have you 
read the * Minutes of the Conference ?' Are you will- 
ing to conform to them ? Have you considered the 
rules of a helper ; especially the first, tenth, and 
twelfth ? Will you keep them for conscience' sake ? 
Are you determined to employ all your time in the work 
of God ? Will you preach every morning at five o'clock 
wherever you can have twenty hearers ? Will you 
endeavour 2 not to speak too long or too loud ? Will 
you diligently instruct the children in every place ? 
Will you visit from house to house 1 Will you recom 

1 " is then to be present ; and each of them may be asked."- 
Large Minutes. 

3 " and evening ; endeavouring." — lb. 



64 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, CI 784. 

mend fasting, both by precept and example ? Are you 
in debt ? 

[" Are you engaged to marry \ 

" N. B. A preacher who marries while on trial is thereby 
set aside.] 

" We may then, if he gives satisfaction, receive him 
as a probationer, by giving him the ' Minutes of the 
Conference,' inscribed thus : — 

"'TO A. B. 

" ' You think it your duty to call sinners to repent- 
ance. Make full proof hereof, and we shall rejoice to 
receive you as a fellow-labourer.' 

" Let him then read and carefully weigh what is 
contained therein, that if he has any doubt it may be 
removed. 

" Observe : taking on trial is entirely different from 
admitting a preacher. One on trial may be either ad- 
mitted or rejected, without doing him any wrong ; 
otherwise it would be no trial at all. Let every assist- 
ant explain this to them that are on trial. 

" After two years'' probation, being recommended 
by the assistant, and examined by the conference, 1 he 
may be received into full connection, by giving him 
the ' Minutes,' inscribed thus : — ' As long as you freely 
consent to, and earnestly endeavour to walk by, these 
rules, we shall rejoice to acknowledge you as a fellow- 
labourer.' Meantime, let none preach or exhort in any 
of our societies, without a note of permission from the 
assistant. Let every preacher or exhorter take care 
to have this renewed yearly ; and let every assistant 
insist upon it. 

" Quest. 70. (52.) What is the method wherein we 
usually proceed in our conferences ? 

" Ans. We inquire, 1. What preachers are admitted? 
Who remain on trial ? Who are admitted on trial ? 
Who desist from travelling ? 



1 "When he has been on trial four years, if recommended by the 
assistant." — Large Minutes. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 65 

" 2. Are there any objections to any of the preach- 
ers ? who are named one by one. 

" 3. How are the preachers stationed this year? 

" 4. What numbers are in the society ? 

[" (5.) What is the Kingswood collection 1 

" (6.) What boys are received this year 1 

" (7.) What girls are assisted'?] 

" 5. (8.) What was contributed for the contingent 
expenses? 

" 6. (9.) How was this expended ? 

"7. (10.) What is contributed toward the fund for 
the superannuated preachers and the widows and 
orphans of the preachers l l 

" 8. (11.) What demands are there upon it ? 

" 9. (12.) How many preachers' wives are to be pro- 
vided for ? By what circuits and in what proportion ? 2 

" 10. (13.) Where and when may our next confer- 
ence begin ? 

" Quest. 71. What provision can we make for a 
proper supply of preachers in the circuits during the 
sitting of the conference 1 

" Ans. Let as many local preachers as are necessary 
be provided by the assistant in every circuit, as far as 
possible ; and let them be paid in proportion to their 
work as travelling preachers out of the yearly col- 
lection. 

" Quest. 72. (53.) How can we provide for super- 
annuated preachers and the widows and orphans of 
preachers ? 3 

" Ans. [Those who can preach four or five times a week are 
supernumerary preachers. As for those who cannot,] 

"1. Let every travelling preacher contribute two 
dollars 4 ' yearly at the conference. 

" 2. Let every one when first admitted as a travelling 
preacher pay twenty shillings (Pennsylvania cur- 
rency.') 



1 " superannuated and supernumerary preachers." — Large Minutes 

a " societies."— lb. 

3 "superannuated and supernumerary preachers." — lb. 

* " half a guinea." — lb. 5 " a guinea." — lb. 



66 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

"3. Let this money be lodged in the hands of the 
treasurers. 1 

["4. The present stewards are John Murlin and John Paw- 
son.] 

" 4. Let there be three treasurers ; three clerks, each 
of whom shall keep a separate account ; and three in- 
spectors, who shall annually lay before the conference 
an exact state of the fund. 

"5. Let these nine form a committee for the ma- 
nagement of the fund. Three of whom shall be com- 
petent to proceed on any business, provided one be a 
treasurer, another an inspector, and a third a clerk. 

" 6. (5.) Out of this fund let provision be made, 
first for the worn-out preachers, and then for the wid- 
ows and children of those that are dead. 

" 7. (6.) Every worn-out preacher shall receive, if 
he wants it, twenty-four pounds a year, {Pennsylvania 
currency. 2 ) 

" 8. (7.) Every widow of a preacher shall receive, 
yearly, if she wants it, daring her widowhood, twenty 
pounds} 

" 9. (8.) Every child of 4 a preacher shall receive, 
once for all, if he wants it, twenty pounds. 5 

" 10. (9.) But none shall be 6 entitled to any thing 
from this fund, till he has paid fifty shillings. 1 

"11. (10.) Nor any who neglects paying his sub- 
scription for three 8 years together, unless he be sent by 
the conference out of these United States. 

[" (11.) Let every preacher who does not bring or send his 
subscription to the conference, be fined two shillings and six- 
pence.] 

" 12. Let the fund never be reduced to less than a 
hundred pounds. 

[" (13.) Let a committee be named to see these rules duly exe- 
cuted. The present committee are, — Christopher Hopper, 

1 " stewards." — Large Minutes. 

2 " at least ten pounds a year." — lb. 

3 " a sum not usually exceeding ten pounds." — lb. 

4 "left by." — lb. 6 " a sum not usually exceeding ten pounds."-I6. 
« " is." — lb. 7 " subscribed two guineas."— lb 

8 » four."— lb 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 67 

Thomas Coke, Thomas Hanby, John Allen, Robert Roberts, 
Henry Moore, Thomas Taylor, William Thompson,Andrew Blair. 
" (14.) Let an exact account of all receipts and disbursements 
be produced at the conference.] 

"13. (15.) Let every assistant as far as possible 
bring to the conference the contribution of every preacher 
left behind in his circuit. 

[" Quest. (54.) Are not many of the preachers' wives still strait- 
ened for the necessaries of life 1 

" Ans. Some certainly have been. To prevent this for the 
time to come, 1. Let every circuit either provide each with a 
lodging, coals, and candles, or allow her fifteen pounds a year. 

2. Let the assistant take this money at the quarterly meeting, 
before any thing else be paid out of it. Fail not to do this. 

" Quest. (55.) How can we account for the decrease of the 
work of God in some circuits, both this year and the last 1 

"Ans. It may be owing either, 1. To the want of zeal and 
exactness in the assistant, occasioning want of discipline through- 
out : or 2. To want of life and diligence in the preachers : or 

3. To our people's losing the life of God, and sinking into the 
spirit of the world. 

" It maybe owing, farther, to the want of more field preaching, 
and of trying more new places.] 

" Quest. 73. (56.) What can be done in order to re- 
vive the work of God where it is decayed ? 

" Ans. [1. Let every preacher read carefully over the ' Life 
of David Brainerd.' Let us be followers of him, as he was of 
Christ, in absolute self-devotion, in total deadness to the world, 
and in fervent love to God and man. Let us but secure this 
point, and the world and the devil must fall under our feet.] 

" 1. (2.) Let both assistants and preachers be consci- 
entiously exact in the whole Methodist discipline. 

" 2. (3.) See that no circuit be at any time without 
preachers. Therefore let no preacher, who does not 
attend the conference, leave the circuit, at that time, 
on any pretence whatever. This is the most improper 
time in the whole year. Let every assistant see to 
this, and require each of these to remain in the circuit 
till the new preachers come. 

" Let not all the preachers in any circuit come to 
the conference. 

" Let those who do come, set out as late and return 
as soon as possible. 



68 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784 

" 3. (4.) Wherever you can, appoint prayer meetings, 
and particularly on Friday. 

" 4. (5.) Let a fast be published at every quarterly 
meeting for the Friday following. And let a memo- 
^andum of it be written on all the class papers. 1 

" 5. (6.) Be [more] active in dispersing Mr. Wes- 
ley's 2 books, [particularly the sermon on ' The Good 
Steward,' on ' Indwelling Sin,' ' The Repentance 
of Believers,' and * The Scripture Way of Salvation.'] 
Every assistant [may give away small tracts : and he] 
may beg money of the rich to buy books for the 
poor. 

" 6. (7.) Strongly and explicitly exhort all believers 
to ' go on to perfection.' That we may ' all speak the 
same thing,' we 3 ask, once for all, Shall we defend 
this perfection, or give it up ? we 4 " all agree to defend 
it, meaning thereby, (as we did from the beginning,) 
salvation from all sin, by the love of God and man 
filling our heart. The Papists say, ' This cannot be 
attained, till we have been refined by the fire of purga- 
tory.' The Calvinists say, ' Nay, it will be attained as 
soon as the soul and body part.' The old Methodists say, 
1 It may be attained before we die : a moment after is 
too late.' Is it so or not ? We 5 are all agreed, we may 
be saved from all sin before death. The substance 
then is settled ; but, as to the circumstance, is the 
change gradual or instantaneous ? It is both the one 
and the other. 

[" From the moment we are justified, there may be a gradual 
sanctification, a growing in grace, a daily advance in the know- 
ledge and love of God. And if sin cease before death, there 
must, in the nature of the thing, be an instantaneous change ; 
there must be a last moment wherein it does exist, and a first 
moment wherein it does not.] 

" ' But should we in preaching insist both on one and 
the other V Certainly we must insist on the gradual 



1 " observed in all our societies, the last Friday in August, Novem- 
ber, February, and May." — Large Minutes. 
8 " the."— lb. 
a » I »__ lb. 4 » You."— lb. 5 " You."— lb. 



1784. J Compared with the Large Minutes. 69 

change ; and that earnestly and continually. And are 
there not reasons why we should insist on the instan- 
taneous also ? If there be such a blessed change be- 
fore death, should we not encourage all believers to 
expect it ? and the rather, because constant experience 
shows, the more earnestly they expect this, the more 
swiftly and steadily does the gradual work of God go 
on in their souls ; the more watchful they are against all 
sin, the more careful to grow in grace, the more zeal- 
ous of good works, and the more punctual in their at- 
tendance on all the ordinances of God. Whereas, just 
the contrary effects are observed whenever this expect- 
ation ceases. They are ' saved by hope,' by this hope 
of a total change, with a gradually increasing salvation. 
Destroy this hope, and that salvation stands still, or 
rather, decreases daily. Therefore whoever would ad- 
vance the gradual change in believers, should strongly 
insist on the instantaneous. 

[" Quest. (57.) What can be done to increase the work of God 
in Scotland ? 

" Ans. 1. Preach abroad as much as possible. 2. Try every 
town and village. 3. Visit every member of the society at 
home. 

" Quest. (58.) How many circuits are there now? 

" Ans. Of America we have no late account. There are 
seventy-four circuits in England, Wales, and the Isle of Man ; 
seven in Scotland, and twenty-eight in Ireland. 

" Quest. (59.) Are our preaching houses safe ? 

" Ans. Not all ; for some of them are not settled on trustees. 
Several of the trustees for others are dead. 

" Quest. (60.) What then is to be done ? 

" Ans. 1. Let those who have debts on any of the houses 
give a bond, to settle them as soon as they are indemnified. 
2. Let the surviving trustees choose others without delay, by 
endorsing their deed thus : — 

" ' We, the remaining trustees of the Methodist preaching 

house in , do, according to the power vested in us by this 

deed, choose to be trustees of the said house, in the place 

of . 

' Witness our hands . 7 

" N. B. The deed must have three new stamps, and must be 
enrolled in chancery within six months. 

" Quest. (61.) In what form may a house be settled 1 



70 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

" Ans. In the following, which was drawn by three of the 
most eminent lawyers ,in London. Whoever therefore objects 
to it only betrays his own ignorance. 

" ' The Indenture made , between Benjamin Heap 

of , in the county of , on the one part, and Thomas 

Philips, hatter, &c, on the other part, witnesseth, That in 
consideration of five shillings, lawful money of Great Britain, 
by the said T. P., &c, to the said B. H., truly paid, before the 
sealing and delivering hereof, (the receipt whereof the said B. H. 
doth hereby acknowledge,) and for divers other considerations 
him thereunto moving, the said B. H. hath granted, bargained, 
and sold, and by these presents doth bargain and sell unto the 
said T. P., &c, their heirs and assigns for ever, all that lately 
erected house or tenement, with the yard thereunto adjoining, 

situate , in , aforesaid, now in the tenure or occupation 

of , together with all the ways, drains, and privileges to the 

said premises appertaining, and all the profits thereof, with all 
the right, title, and interest in law and equity : To have and to 
hold, the said house, yard, and other premises, to the said T. P., 
&c, their heirs and assigns for ever. Nevertheless, upon 
special trust and confidence, and to the intent that they and the 
survivors of them, and the trustees for the time being, do, and 
shall permit John Wesley, of the City Road, London, clerk, and 
such other persons as he shall from time to time appoint, at all 
times, during his natural life, and no other persons, to have and 
enjoy the free use and benefit of the said premises ; that the said 
John Wesley, and such other persons as he appoints, may therein 
preach and expound God's holy word. And after his decease, 
upon farther trust and confidence, and to the intent, that the said 
T. P., &c, or the major part of them, or the survivors of them, 
and the major part of the trustees of the said premises for the 
time being, shall, from time to time, and at all times for ever, 
permit such persons as shall be appointed at the yearly confer- 
ence of the people called Methodists, in London, Bristol, Leeds, 
Manchester, or elsewhere, specified by name in a deed enrolled 
in chancery, under the hand and seal of the said John Wesley, 
and bearing date the 28th day of February, 1784, and no others, 
to have and to enjoy the said premises, for the purposes afore- 
said : provided always, that the persons preach no other doctrine 
than is contained in Mr. Wesley's ' Notes upon the New Tes- 
tament,' and four volumes of ' Sermons.' And upon farther 
trust and confidence, that, as often as any of these trustees, or 
the trustees for the time being, shall die, or cease to be a mem- 
ber of the society commonly called Methodists, the rest of the 
said trustees, or of the trustees for the time being, as soon as 
conveniently may be, shall and may choose another trustee or 
trustees, in order to keep up the number of trustees for ever. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 71 

In witness whereof the said B. H. hath hereunto set his hand 
and sea], the day and year above written.' 

" In this form the proprietors of the house are to make it over 
to five, seven, or nine trustees. 

" Quest. (62.) But is this form asafe one ? Should we not have 
the opinion of counsel upon it ? 

" Ans. I think this would be throwing money away ; 1. Be- 
cause this form was drawn up by three eminent counsellors : 
I^ut, 2. It is the way of almost every lawyer to blame what an- 
other has done.' Therefore, you cannot at all infer, that they 
think a thing wrong, because they say so. 3. If they did in 
reality think it wrong, this would not prove it was so. 4. If 
there was (which I do not believe) some defect therein, who 
would go to law with the body of Methodists 1 But, 5. If they 
did, would any court in England put them out of possession ; 
especially when the intent of the deed was plain and undeniable 1 

" Quest. 74. (63.) Is any thing [farther] advisable 
with regard to building ? 

" Ans. [1. Build all preaching houses, where the ground 
will permit, in the octagon form. It is best for the voice, and, on 
many accounts, more commodious than any other. 2. Why 
should not any octagon house be built after the model of Yarm 1 
any square house after the model of Bath or Scarborough ? Can 
we find any better model 1 3. Let the roof rise only one-third 
of its breadth : this is the true proportion. 4. Have doors 
and windows enough ; and let all the windows be sashes, opening 
downward. 5. Let there be no Chinese paling, and no tub 
pulpit, but a square projection with a long seat behind. 6. 
Let there be no pews, and no backs to the seats, which should 
have aisles on each side, and be parted in the middle by a rail 
running all along, to divide the men from the women ; just as at 
Bath.] 

" (7.) Let all our chapels 1 be built plain and decent ; 
but not more expensive than is absolutely unavoidable : 
otherwise the necessity of raising money will make 
rich men necessary to us. But if so, we must be de 
pendant upon them, yea, and governed by them. And 
then farewell to the Methodist discipline, if not doctrine 
too. 

f" (8.) Wherever a preaching house is built, see that lodgings 
for the preachers be built also.] 

" Quest. 75. (64.) Is there any exception to the rule 
' Let the men and women sit apart V 

1 "the preaching houses." — Large Minutes. 



72 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, 11784. 

" Ans. There is no exception. Let them sit apart 
in all our chapels. 1 

[" Quest. (65.) But how can we secure their sitting apart there T 

" Ans. I must do it myself. If I come into any new house, 
and see the men and women together, I will immediately go out. 
I hereby give public notice of this : pray let it be observed.] 

" Quest. 76. (66.) But there is not a worse indecency 
than this [creeping in among us] — talking in the chapels 2 
before and after service. How shall this be cured ? * 

" Ans. Let all the ministers and preachers join as 
one man, and [the very next Sunday they preach in 
any place] enlarge on the impropriety of talking before 
or after service, and strongly exhort them to do it no 
more. In three months, if we are in earnest, this vile 
practice will be banished out of every Methodist con- 
gregation. Let none stop till he has carried his point. 

[" Quest. (67.) Is there not another shocking indecency fre- 
quently practised by filthy men against the wall of a preaching 
house ; enough to make any modest woman blush 1 

" Ans. There is : but I beg any one who sees another do this 
will give him a hearty clap on the back. 

" Quest. (68.) Complaint has been made that sluts spoil our 
houses. How may we prevent this ] 

" Ans. Let none that has spoiled one, ever live in another. But 
what a shame is this ! A preacher's wife should be a pattern of 
cleanliness, in her person, clothes, and habitation. Let nothing 
slatternly be seen about her ; no rags, no dirt, no litter. And she 
should be a pattern of industry ; always at work, either for her- 
self, her husband, or the poor. I am not willing any should live 
in the orphan house at Newcastle, or any preaching house, who 
does not conform to this rule. 

" Quest. (69.) It has been complained also, that people crowd 
into the preachers' houses, as into coffee houses, without any in- 
vitation. Is this right ? 

" Ans. It is utterly wrong. Stop it at once. Let no person 
come into the preacher's house, unless he wants to ask a ques- 
tion? 

" Quest. (70.) May any new preaching houses be built? 

" Ans. Not unless, 1. They are proposed at the conference. 
No, nor 2. Unless two-thirds of the expense be subscribed. 

1 " In those galleries where they have always sat together, they 
may do so still. But let them sit apart everywhere below, and in all 
new erected galleries." — Large Minutes. 

3 " preaching houses." — lb. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 73 

And if any collection be made for them, it must be made between 
the conference and the beginning - of February. 

" Quest. (71.) What can be done to make the Methodists 
sensible of the excellency of Kingswood school 1 

" Ans. Let every assistant read the following account of it 
yearly in every congregation : — 

" 1. The wisdom and love of God have now thrust out a large 
number of labourers into his harvest ; men who desire nothing 
on earth but to promote the glory of God, by saving their own 
souls and those that hear them. And those to whom they minis- 
ter spiritual things are willing to minister to them of their carnal 
things ; so that they ' have food to eat, and raiment to put on,' 
and are content therewith. 

" 2. A competent provision is likewise made for the wives 
of married preachers. These also lack nothing, having a 
weekly allowance over and above for their little children ; 
so that neither they nor their husbands need to be 'careful 
about many things,' but may ' wait upon the Lord without dis- 
traction.' 

" 3. Yet one considerable difficulty lies on those that have 
boys, when they grow too big to be under their mother's direc- 
tion. Having no father to govern and instruct them, they are 
exposed to a thousand temptations. To remedy this we have a 
school on purpose for them, whereim they have all the instruc- 
tion they are capable of, together with all things necessary for 
the body, clothes only excepted. And it may be, if God prosper 
this labour of love, they will have these too, shortly. 

" 4. In whatever view we look upon this, it is one of the 
noblest charities that can be conceived. How reasonable is the 
institution ! Is it fit that the children of those who leave wife, 
and all that is dear, to save souls from death, should want what 
is needful either for soul or body ? Ought not we to supply 
what the parent cannot, because of his labours in the gospel 1 
How excellent are the effects of this institution ! The preacher, 
eased of this weight, can the more cheerfully go on in his labour. 
And perhaps many of these children may hereafter fill up the 
place of those that shall 'rest from their labours.' 

" 5. It is not strange, therefore, considering the excellence of 
this design, that Satan should have taken much pains to defeat 
it, particularly by lies of every kind, which were plentifully in- 
vented and handed about for several 5<ears. But truth now ge- 
nerally prevails, and its adversaries are put to silence. It is 
well known that the children want nothing ; that they scarce 
know what sickness means ; that they are well instructed in 
whatever they are capable of learning ; that they are carefully 
and tenderly governed ; and that the behaviour of all in the house, 
elder and younger, is ' as becometh the gospel of Christ.' 



74 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784 

" 6. But the expense of such an undertaking is very large, so 
that we are ill able to defray it. The best means we could 
think of at our conference to supply the deficiency, is, once a 
year to desire the assistance of all those in every place who wish 
well to the work of God ; who long to see sinners converted to 
God, and the kingdom of Christ set up in all the earth. 

" 7. All of you who are thus minded have an opportunity now 
of showing your love to the gospel. Now promote, as far as in 
you lies, one of the noblest charities in the world. Now forward, 
as you are able, one of the most excellent designs that ever was 
set on foot in this kingdom. Do what you can to comfort the 
parents who give up their all for you, and to give their children 
cause to bless you. You will be no poorer for what you do on 
such an occasion. God is a good paymaster. And you know, 
in doing this, you lend unto the Lord. In due time he shall pay 
you again. 

" Quest. (72.) But how can we keep out of debt 1 

" Ans. Let a collection be made for this school, the Sunday 
before or after midsummer, in every preaching house, great and 
small, throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland.] 

" Quest. 77. (73.) How may we raise a general fund 
for carrying on the whole work of God ? 

" Ans. By a yearly collection, and if need be a 
quarterly one, to be raised by every assistant in every 
principal congregation in his circuit. 1 

" To this end he may then read and enlarge upon the 
following hints in every such congregation : 2 — 

" (1.) How shall we send labourers into those parts 
where they are most of all wanted ? [suppose the north- 
west of Ireland, and the north of Scotland.] Many are 
willing to hear, but not to bear the expense. Nor can 
it as yet be expected of them : stay till the word of 
God has touched their hearts, and then they will gladly 
provide for them that preach it. Does it not lie upon 
us, in the mean time, to supply their lack of service ? 
to raise a general fund, out of which, from time to time, 
that expense may be defrayed ? By this means, those 
who willingly offer themselves may travel through every 



3 " By a yearly subscription to be proposed by every assistant when 
he visits the classes at Christmas, and received at the visitation fol- 
lowing." — Large Minutes. 

2 " society." — lb. 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 75 

part, whether there are societies or not, 1 and stay 
wherever there is a call, without being burdensome to 
any. Thus may the gospel, in the life and power 
thereof, be spread from sea to sea. Which of you will 
not rejoice to throw in your mite to promote this glori- 
ous work ? 

" (2.) Besides this, in carrying on so large a work 
through the continent, 2 there are calls for money in va- 
rious ways, and we must frequently be at conside- 
rable expense, or the work must be at a full stop. 
Many too are the occasional distresses of our preachers 
or their families, which require an immediate supply. 
Otherwise their hands would hang down, if they were 
not constrained to depart from the work. 

[" (3.) Let then every member of oar society once a year set 
his shoulder to the work ; contributing more or less, as God hath 
prospered him, at the Lady-day visitation of the classes. Let 
none be excluded from giving something, — be it a penny, a half- 
penny, a farthing. Remember the widow's two mites ! And let 
those who are able to give shillings, crowns, and pounds, do it 
willingly.] 

" The money contributed will be brought to the en- 
suing conference. 

"(4.) Men and brethren, help ! Was there ever a call 
like this, since you first heard the gospel sound ? Help 
to relieve your companions in the kingdom of Jesus, 
who are pressed above measure. 

" ■ Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the 
law of Christ.' Help to send forth able, willing la- 
bourers into your Lord's harvest : so shall ye be assist- 
ant in saving souls from death, and hiding a multitude 
of sins. Help to spread the gospel of your salvation 
into the remotest corners of the earth, 3 till ' the 
knowledge of our Lord shall cover the land, as the 
waters cover the sea.' So shall it appear to ourselves, 
and all men, that we are indeed one body, united by one 

1 This clause is in the original Minutes of 1749, but not in the 
Large Minutes. 

s " three kingdoms." — Large Minutes. 
3 " kingdom."— Ih. 



76 First Discipline of the M. E. Church, [1784. 

spirit ; so shall the baptized heathens be yet again 
constrained to say, ■ See how these Christians love one 
another !' 

[" In this, may not even the Romanists provoke us to jealousy 1 
They have a general fund at Rome, and another at Paris, which 
bears all the expenses of their missionaries throughout the world.] 

" Quest. 78. What can be done towards erecting 
new chapels, and discharging the debts on those 
already built ? 

" Ans. Let every assistant raise a yearly subscrip- 
tion through his circuit : and let every member who is 
not supported by charity, give something. Let them 
subscribe the first quarter, and pay the second. And 
let the money be applied where it is most wanted, by a 
committee of lay-members annually appointed by the 
assistant, one of whom shall be chosen out of each so- 
ciety concerned. 

" Quest. 79. Is it not right that the assistant, and 
not the steivards or leaders, should receive the quar- 
terly collections in the classes ? 

" Ans. Certainly it is. This has been the general 
practice among the Methodists in Europe. And 
therefore let every assistant look to it, and ask every 
person, who can afford it, for his quarterly subscrip- 
tion, when he changes the tickets ; and in due time let 
him deliver the whole into the hands of the stewards, tc 
carry on the work of God in the circuit. 

[" Quest. (74.) What is the direct antidote to Methodism, the 
doctrine of heart holiness ? 

" Ans. Calvinism : all the devices of Satan, for these fifty 
years, have done far less toward stopping this work of God, 
than that single doctrine. It strikes at the root of salvation from 
sin, previous to glory, putting the matter on quite another issue. 
" Quest. (75.) But wherein lie the charms of this doctrine '? 
What makes men swallow it so greedily ? 

" Ans. 1. It seems to magnify Christ; although in reality it 
supposes him to have died in vain. For the absolutely elect 
must have been saved without him ; and the non-elect cannot be 
saved by him. 

" 2. It is highly pleasing to flesh and blood, final perseve- 
rance in particular.] 



1784.] Compared with the Large Minutes. 77 

" Quest. 80. (76.) What can be done to guard against 
Antinomianism f 1 

" Ans. 1. Let all our preachers carefully read over 
Mr. Wesley's 2 and Mr. Fletcher's tracts. 

" 2. Let them frequently and explicitly preach the 
truth, though not in a controversial way. But let them 
take care to do it in love and gentleness ; not in bitter- 
ness, not returning railing for railing. 

[" Let those who preach it have all this to themselves. 

"3. Do not imitate them in screaming, allegorizing, boasting : 
rather mildly expose these things when time serves. 

" 4. Imitate them in this : they readily seize upon any one 
that is newly convinced or converted. Be diligent to prevent 
them, and to guard those tender minds against the predestinari- 
an poison.] 

" 3. (5.) Answer all the objections of our people, 3 as 
occasion offers, [both in public and private.] But take 
care to do this with all possible sweetness both of look 
and of accent. 

[" (6.) Very frequently, both in public and private, advise our 
people not to hear them. 

" (7.) Make it a matter of constant and earnest prayer, that 
God would stop the plague.] 

" Quest. 81. (77.) Wherein lies our danger of it. 4 

"Ans. 1. With regard to man's faithfulness. Our 
Lord himself taught us to use the expression : there- 
fore we ought never to be ashamed of it. We ought 
steadily to assert upon his authority, that if a man is 
not ' faithful in the unrighteous mammon, God will not 
give him the true riches.' 

" 2. With regard to ' working for life,' which our 
Lord expressly commands us to do. ' Labour,' egya- 
&ode, literally, 'work, for the meat that endureth to 
everlasting life.' And in fact, every believer, till he 
comes to glory, works for as well as from life. 

"3. We have received it as a maxim, that ' a man 
is to do nothing in order to justification.' Nothing can 

1 " it." — Large Minutes. 2 " ours." — lb. 

3 " their objections." — lb. 

*" Quest. (77.) We said in 1744, i We have leaned too much to 
ward Calvinism.' Wherein ?" — lb. 
6 



78 First Discipline of the M. E. Church. [1784. 

be more false. Whoever desires to find favour with 
God should ' cease from evil, and learn to do well.' 
So God himself teaches by the prophet Isaiah. Who 
ever repents, should ' do works meet for repentance.' 
And if this is not in order to find favour, what does he 
do them for ? 

" Once more review the whole affair : 

" 1. Who of us is now accepted of God ? 

" He that now believes in Christ with a loving, obe- 
dient heart. 

" 2. But who among those that never heard of 
Christ ? 

" He that, according to the light he has, ' feareth 
God and worketh righteousness.' 

" 3. Is this the same with ' he that is sincere V 

" Nearly, if not quite. 

" 4. Is not this salvation by works ? 

" Not by the merit of works, but by works as a 
condition. 

[" (5.) What have we then been disputing about for these 
thirty years 1 

"lam afraid about words, namely, in some of the foregoing 
instances. 

" (6.) As to merit itself, of which we have been so dreadfully 
afraid : we are rewarded according to our works, yea, because 
of our works. How does this differ from, ' for the sake of our 
works V And how differs this from secundum merita operum ? 
which is no more than, ' as our works deserve.' Can you split 
this hair 1 I doubt I cannot.] 

" 5. (7.) The grand objection to one of the preceding 
propositions is drawn from matter of fact. God does 
in fact justify those who, by their own confession, 
neither ' feared God' nor ' wrought righteousness.' Is 
this an exception to the general rule ? 

"It is a doubt whether God makes any exception 
at all. But how are we sure that the person in ques- 
tion never did fear God and work righteousness ? His 
own thinking so is no proof. For we know how all 
that are convinced of sin undervalue themselves in 
every respect. 

" 6. (8.) Does not talking, without proper caution, of 



1784.] Differe7tt Editions of the Discipline. 79 

a justified or sanctified state, tend to mislead men ; al- 
most naturally leading them to trust in what was done 
in one moment? Whereas w r e are every moment 
pleasing or displeasing to God, according to our works; 
according to the whole of our present inward tempers 
and outward behaviour." 

While the number of preachers in America was 
small, there was but one conference held in the year. 
By 1779, however, they had increased so as to render 
it inconvenient to meet in one place. From that time, 
therefore, till 1784, two conferences, in reality, were 
held annually, though the second was considered as an 
adjournment of the first. Their respective powers are 
thus stated by the Rev. Jesse Lee : — " As the confer- 
ence in the north was of the longest standing, and 
withal composed of the oldest preachers, it was allowed 
greater privileges than that in the south ; especially in 
making rules, and forming regulations for the societies. 
Accordingly, when any thing was agreed to in the Vir- 
ginia Conference, and afterward disapproved of in the 
Baltimore Conference, it was dropped. But if any 
rule was fixed and determined on at the Baltimore 
Conference, the preachers in the south were under the 
necessity of abiding by it. The southern conference 
was considered at that time as a convenience, and 
designed to. accommodate the preachers in that part of 
the work, and to do all the business of a regular con- 
ference, except that of making or altering particular 
rules."* 

The Christmas Conference, at which the church 
was organized, was, as already stated, a General Con- 
ference. None such was held again until November, 
1792. The alterations of the Discipline, therefore, 
during that interval, seem to have been made in the 
same informal manner as prior to 1784 : — Bishop Asbury 
submitting the proposed amendments to the annual 

* History of the Methodists, pp. 78, 79. 



80 Different Editions of the Discipline. [1785-6. 

conferences, in succession ; and, when adopted, pub- 
lishing them, either in the Annual Minutes, (which 
were printed regularly after 1784,) or in new editions 
of the General Minutes or Discipline. 

1784S. At the annual conferences for 1785, it 
was concluded that the rule on slavery, adopted at the 
Christmas Conference, would do harm. It was, there- 
fore, resolved to suspend its execution for the present,* 
and a note to that effectf was added to the Annual 
Minutes for that year. The conferences, however, 
still expressed "the deepest abhorrence" of "the 
practice," and a determination " to seek its destruction 
by all wise and prudent means." 

17 86. The first edition of the Discipline was 
printed in Philadelphia, in 1785, and is found bound 
up with " the Sunday Service," and " the Collection 
of Psalms and Hymns" which had been sent over to 
America in sheets."J In 1786 a new edition of the 
whole, in one book, was printed in London. In this the 
following questions of the first edition, with their an- 
swers, are omitted, namely : Quest. 23. (Of preachers' 
drinking spirituous liquors ;) Quest. 42. (Of extirpating 
slavery;) Quest. 63. (Of the trial of travelling preach- 
ers ;) and Quest. 64. (Of supplying vacancies on cir- 
cuits.) 

This appears to have been the last edition of "the 
Sunday Service" for the use of the Methodists in 
America. The General Minutes, or Discipline proper, 
were published, the next year, in a separate pamphlet; 
the Articles of Religion, and the Forms for adminis- 
tering the sacraments, for solemnizing matrimony, for 
burying the dead, and for ordinations, were subse- 
quently incorporated into the Discipline ; and " the 



* See Lee's History of the Methodists, p. 102. 
t For the note, see below, part ii, sec. 10. 
t " Defence of our Fathers," sec. 8. 



1787.] Different Editions of the Discipline. 81 

Collection of Psalms and Hymns" has been trans- 
formed into the present Hymn-book ; but the Sunday 
Service proper was laid aside soon after its introduc- 
tion, forms of prayer for public worship not being 
popular with the church in America. 

1787. In 1787 the Discipline underwent an entire 
change in its form. It will have been perceived, that 
the first and second editions consisted of a series of 
questions and answers, arranged with very little me- 
thod. The book was now divided into sections, with 
appropriate heads. This appears to have been done, 
almost entirely, by Bishop Asbury, with the aid of the 
Rev. John Dickins ; though the work was, no doubt, 
revised, before publication, by Dr. Coke. In the latter 
part of the year 17^5, while Bishop Asbury was con- 
fined, with a swollen foot, at James' City, in Vii 
ginia, he writes, und^r date of November 27: " Foi 
some time past I had not been quite satisfied with the 
order and arrangement of our Form of Discipline ; and, 
persuaded that it migh. be improved without difficulty, 
we accordingly set abc ut it, and, during my confine- 
ment in James' City, completed the work, arranging 
the subject matter thereof under their proper heads, 
divisions, and sections."* That the " we," in this ex- 
tract, refers to the Rev. John Dickins, may be infer- 
red from the fact that he was then stationed in that 
part of the country, and from the following entry in 
Bishop Asbury's Journal, under date of April 25, 
1786 : "Read our Form of Discipline in manuscript, 
which brother Dickins has been preparing for the 
press."! 

The publication of this revised Discipline was delayed 
until May, 1787, probably with a view of obtaining 
the concurrence of Dr. Coke, who made his second 
visit to America in March of that year. 

The author has not been able to obtain a copy of 

* Journal, vol. i, p. 391 . t Ibid., p. 396. 



82 Different Editions of the Discipline. [1787 

this edition, and, as it was published in pamphlet form, 
it is likely that none is extant. Its loss, however, is 
the less to be regretted, since by the aid of Lee's His- 
tory of the Methodists, and. the Discipline of 1789, we 
are enabled to arrive at a pretty accurate knowledge of 
its contents. We learn, from the former,* that it con- 
tained thirty-one sections, embracing sixty-three ques- 
tions ; and that its last, or thirty-first section, corres- 
ponded with the thirty-first section of the Discipline of 
1789.1 It is also known that the latter contained four 
additional sections, embracing six questions ; and that 
two of these were the thirty-first section, (Of the trial 
of members,) and the thirty-second, (Of the trial of min- 
isters.)^: It is probable, therefore, that the other two 
were the thirty-fourth (Of stewards) and the thirty-fifth, 
(The General Rules) : — a conclusion which is further 
confirmed by the fact, that these four sections embrace 
precisely six questions. If these inferences be correct, 
then the Discipline of 1787 was substantially the same 
as the first thirty-one sections of that of 1789, and all 
the alterations in those sections which are assigned in 
this work to the latter year, may have been made in 
the former, but they are not referred to 1787, because 
the author is unwilling to rely on any mere presump- 
tion, however strong. 

It was in the Discipline of 1787 that the superin- 
tendents were first called bishops. § 

It was the leaving out, in this year, the second ques- 
tion and answer of the former Discipline, that is called, 
in Methodist history, " leaving Mr. Wesley's name off 
the Minutes." 

In the Annual Minutes for the same year we find 
several regulations relating to discipline, namely, Quest. 
17. (Of the spiritual welfare of the coloured people. )|| 
Quest. 18. (Of the salaries of married preachers. )1f 



* Lee's History of the Methodists, pp. 127, 128. t Ibid., p. 129. 

X See Asbury's Journal, vol. ii, pp. 29, 30. 

§ Lee's Hist, of the Methodists, p. 128. 

|| See below, book ii, part ii, sec. 10. IT Ibid., sec. 4. 



1788-9.] Different Editions of the Discipline. 83 

Quest. 1 9. (Of register books ;)* and Quest. 20. (Of the 
rising generation.)! 

1788. No edition of the Discipline for 1788 has 
been found. That no material alterations, however, 
were made in that year, may be reasonably inferred 
from the silence of contemporary writers, especially 
of Lee, who says that he " inserted all the Minutes of 
importance," and who mentions, in his History, altera- 
tions in 1787 and 1789, but none in 1788. 

1789. In March, 1789, the fifth edition of the 
Discipline was published. The correspondence be- 
tween it and the edition of 1787 has already been no- 
ticed under the latter date. Two of the new sections 
(thirty-first and thirty-second) appear to have been pre- 
pared by Bishop Asbury nearly a year previously. 
Under date of April 2, 1788, he writes: "I rested, 
and compiled two sections, which I shall recommend 
to be put into our Form of Discipline, in order to re- 
move from society, by regular steps, either preachers 
or people that are disorderly ."J 

To this Discipline was prefixed an Address, by the 
bishops, " to the members of the Methodist Societies 
in the United States." There were also appended the 
Articles of Religion, and certain Doctrinal Tracts, both 
printed as distinct parts. The former were entitled, 
" The Articles of Religion as received and taught in 
the Methodist Episcopal Church throughout the United 
States of America. ' If any man will do his will, he 
shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,' 
John vii, 17. 'Prove all things : holdfast that which 
is good,' 1 Thess. v. 21." The Doctrinal Tracts were 
severally entitled, " The Scripture Doctrine of Predes- 
tination, Election, and Reprobation, by the Rev. John 
Wesley, &c." " Serious Thoughts on the Infallible 



* See below, book ii, part ii, sec. 3, t Ibid,, part i, chap, i, sec. 16. 
t Journal, vol. ii, p. 29. 



84 Different Editions of the Discipline. [1790—6 

Unconditional Perseverance of all that have once expe- 
rienced Faith in Christ ;" and " A Plain Account of 
Christian Perfection, as believed and taught by the 
Rev. John Wesley, from the Year 1725 to the Year 
1765." These tracts were inserted in the subsequent 
editions of the Discipline, (except that of 1796,) until 
1812, when they were omitted. They may now be 
found in the volume entitled, "Doctrinal Tracts," and 
in Wesley's Works, vol. vi, pp. 81, 483.* 

1790. In the edition of 1790 the Articles of Re 
ligion and the Doctrinal Tracts, instead of being pub 
lished as an appendix to the Discipline, were inserted 
in the body of it, and a new tract was added, " On 
the Nature and Subjects of Christian Baptism." These 
constituted, in the order they have been cited, sections 
thirty-five to thirty-nine of this edition. 

1791. In the Discipline of 1791 was inserted a 
new section, namely, " § 9. Of Band Societies." 

1792. Another General Conference having been 
convened in 1792, the Discipline of the church was 
revised and somewhat altered. The sections were 
now distributed into three chapters, of which the first, 
containing twenty-six sections, related to the ministry ; 
the second, containing eight sections, to the member- 
ship ; and the third, containing ten sections, embraced 
the temporal economy of the church, the Doctrinal 
Tracts, and the Forms. 

A General Conference having been held regularly, 
every four years from this time, no alterations were 
made in the Discipline, except at its successive sessions. 

1796. The Discipline of 1796 is distinguished 
from all others, by containing notes on the respective 

* In Dr. Bangs's History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, vol. i, 
pp. 175-215, the Discipline of 1789 is published entire, excepting the 
first section, for which see below, book ii, " The Bishops' Address " 



1800-8.] Different Editions of the Discipline. 85 

sections, prepared by the bishops. The origin and 
design of these are thus stated in the " Advertisement to 
the Reader :" — " The last General Conference desired 
the bishops to draw up Annotations on the Form of Dis- 
cipline, and to publish them with the present edition. 
The bishops have accordingly complied, and have 
proved or illustrated every thing by quotations from the 
word of God, agreeably also to the advice of the con- 
ference : and they sincerely pray that their labour of 
love may be made a blessing to many. 1797." 

In this edition we find, in the first chapter, two new 
sections ; the one, Section 21. " Of the Local Preach- 
ers ;" the other, Section 28. "Of the Chartered Fund." 
In the second chapter there are also two additional 
sections ; the one, Section 9. " Of Slavery ;" the other, 
Section 10. "Of the Sale and Use of Spirituous Liquors." 
The Doctrinal Tracts and the Forms are omitted. 

1800. The Discipline of 1800 omits the bish- 
ops' Notes, which were ordered to be printed " by 
themselves, but in such a manner that the Notes may 
be conveniently bound up with the Form of Disci- 
pline."* In this edition the section on " The Plan of 
Education recommended to all our Seminaries of 
Learning" is omitted ; and the Doctrinal Tracts (ex- 
cept that on baptism) and the Forms are restored. 

1804. In 1804 the Discipline was divided into 
two parts, as now, the second relating to the " tempo- 
ral economy" of the church. There has been no 
change in the order of the sections from that time. 

1808. In 1808 an important change w r as made 
in the constitution of the church, by the establishment 
of a delegated General Conference. In this year the 
word " salary" was changed throughout to " allow- 
ance." 



* See below, book ii, part 2, sec. 8. 



86 Different Editions of the Discipline. 

1819. Since 1812 the Doctrinal Tracts have 
been omitted. 

1816. In 1816 the Forms, instead of being em- 
braced, as before, in one chapter, (the third,) were 
divided into two, of which one (the third) contained 
the order for administering the sacraments, and the 
forms for solemnizing matrimony and burying the dead; 
and the other (the fourth) contained the forms of or- 
dination. In this year the word "society" was very 
generally changed to " church," the latter term having 
occurred occasionally before. 

1833. In 1832 a new section was added to part 
ii, namely, " Section 6. Of the Support of Missions." 

1 84®. In 1 840 a new section was added to part i, 
chap. 1 , namely, " Sec. 8. Of the reception of Preachers 
from the Wesleyan Connection, and from other Denom- 
inations ;" and the eighth section of chap. 2, " Of the 
Sale and Use of Spirituous Liquors," was omitted.* 

1848. The whole arrangement of the Discipline 
was entirely remodeled this year. The former editions 
were comprised in four chapters, with sections ; the 
first with twenty-five, the second with seven, the third 
with four, and the fourth with three ; and a Part Second 
with ten sections. 

The arrangement of 1848 divides the book into 
three parts : I. Origin, Doctrines, and Administra- 
tive Rules. II. The Ritual. III. Temporal Economy . 
It was also for the first time furnished with an index. 

1853, The arrangement continued as in 1848, 
with the addition of a new chapter, (vii, part 1.) 
Throughout the volume the word yearly was changed 
to annual, where it is connected with the word con- 
ference ; and instead of quarterly meeting conferences> 
as before, it is now " Quarterly Conferences." 

Some of the first copies of the 24mo. edition of the Discipline of 1840 were 
imperfect. (See below, book ii, part 1, chap, i, sec. 4 and 16.) The correct 
copies may be known by having pp. 61-4 in smaller type than the others. 



The Title of the Discipline. 87 

BOOK II. 

HISTORY OF THE SEVERAL SECTIONS. 

In this book it is proposed to trace the modifications 
which the respective sections of the Discipline have 
undergone from time to time. Every material altera- 
tion is noticed ; and, in the Articles of Religion and 
the Forms, even the most minute verbal changes. 
When a section is long and complicated, its parts are 
considered separately. To avoid unnecessary repeti- 
tion, it will be understood that the first date under any 
head indicates when a rule on the subject was first in- 
troduced ; and the others, in succession, show the 
changes which it subsequently underwent, until it as- 
sumed its present form. The title of the Discipline 
and the Bishops' Address will first be considered. 

The Title. 

1784. The original title was, as already stated, 
" Minutes of several Conversations between the Rev. 
Thomas Coke, LL.D., the Rev. Francis Asbury, and 
others, at a Conference, begun in Baltimore, in the 
State of Maryland, on Monday the 27th of December, 
in the Year 1784. Composing a Form of Discipline 
for the Ministers, Preachers, and other Members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in America." 

1780. The title was altered to the following: — • 
" The General Minutes of the Conferences of the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church in America, forming the Con- 
stitution of the said Church." 

1787. The following was the title : — "A Form 
of Discipline for the Ministers, Preachers, and Mem 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America ; 



88 The Bishops' Address. 

considered and approved at a Conference held in Bal 
timore, in the State of Maryland, on Monday, the 27th 
day of December, 1784. In which the Reverend 
Thomas Coke, LL.D., and the Reverend Francis 
Asbury presided. Arranged under proper Heads, 
and methodized in a more acceptable and easy 
Manner." 

IT 89. The names were printed simply, — " Tho- 
mas Coke and Francis Asbury." 

1790. The Articles of Religion and the Doc- 
trinal Tracts having been incorporated into the Disci- 
pline, the following clause was inserted before the 
words " of the Methodist Episcopal Church," namely, 
("now comprehending the Principles and Doctrines.") 

1793. The title was altered so as to read, — 
" The Doctrine and Discipline of the M. E. Church 
in America, revised and approved at the General Con- 
ference held at Baltimore, in the State of Maryland, in 
November, 1792 : in which Thomas Coke and Fran- 
cis Asbury presided." 

1796. All after "America" was struck out, and 
the following substituted : — " with Explanatory Notes, 
by Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury." 

1 804. The present title was adopted, namely . 
" The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church." 

The Bishops' Address. 

1789. This appears first in the Discipline of 
1789,* as follows :— 



* All references to the edition of 1789 are made, in view of what 
has been stated, p. 82. 



The Bishops' Address. 89 



" To the Members of the Methodist Societies in the 
United States. 

" Dearly Beloved Brethren, — We esteem it our duty 
and privilege most earnestly to recommend to you, as 
members of our church, our Form of Discipline, which 
has been founded on the experience of fifty years in 
Europe, and of twenty years in America ; as also on 
the observations and remarks we have made on ancient 
and modern churches. We have made some little- al- 
terations in the present edition, yet such as affect not 
in any degree the essentials of our doctrines and disci- 
pline. We think ourselves obliged to view and review 
annually the whole order of our church, always aiming 
at perfection, standing on the shoulders of those who 
have lived before us, and taking the advantage of our 
former selves. 

" We wish to see this little publication in the house 
of every Methodist, and the more so as it contains our 
plan of collegiate and Christian educationj and the Ar- 
ticles of Religion maintained more or less, in part or in 
the whole, by every reformed church in the world. 
We would likewise declare our real sentiments con- 
cerning the Scripture doctrine of election and repro- 
bation ; as also on the infallible, unconditional per- 
severance of all that ever have believed, or ever 
shall ; and, lastly, on the doctrine of Christian per- 
fection. 

" Far from wishing you to be ignorant of any of our 
doctrines, or any part of our Discipline, we desire you 
to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the whole. 
We know you are not, in general, able to purchase 
many books ; but you ought, next to the word of God, 
to procure the Articles and Canons of the church to 
which you belong. This present edition is small and 
cheap, and we can assure you that the profits of the 
sale of it shall be applied to charitable purposes. 

" We remain your very affectionate brethren and 



90 The Bishops' Address. 

pastors, who labour night and day, both in public and 

private, for your good, 

" Thomas Coke, 
" Francis Asbtjry. 

" Charlestown, [S. C.,] March 20, 1789." 

1790. In the Discipline of 1790 the following 
additional paragraphs are inserted at the beginning 
of the Address : — 

" We think it expedient to give you a brief account 
of the rise of Methodism, (so called,) both in Europe 
and America. In 1729 two young men in England, 
reading the Bible, saw they could not be saved without 
holiness, followed after it, and incited others so to do. 
In 1737 they saw, likewise, that men are justified be- 
fore they are sanctified : but still holiness was their 
object. God then thrust them out to raise a holy 
people. 

" And during the space of thirty years past certain 
persons, members of the society, emigrated from Eng- 
land and Ireland, and settled in various parts of this 
country. About twenty years ago Philip Embury, a 
local preacher from Ireland, began to preach in the 
city of New-York, and formed a society of his own 
countrymen and the citizens. About the same time 
Robert Strawbridge, a local preacher from Ireland, set- 
tled in Frederic county, in the state of Maryland, and, 
preaching there, formed some societies. In 1769 
Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor came to New- 
York, who were the first regular Methodist preachers 
on the continent. In the latter end of the year 1771 
Francis Asbury and Richard Wright, of the same or- 
der, came over. 

" And we humbly believe that God's design, in rais- 
ing up the preachers called Methodists in America, was 
to reform the continent, and spread Scripture holiness 
over these lands. As a proof hereof we have seen, in 
the Course of twenty-two years, a great and glorious 
work of God, from New-York, through the Jerseys 



The Bishops' 1 Address. 91 

Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North and South 
Carolina, and Georgia ; as also the extremities of the 
western settlements." 

These paragraphs were taken, with but little altera- 
tion, from the Discipline of 1789, where they consti- 
tuted the first section. A portion of them may also be 
found in the Discipline of 1784, in the answer to ques- 
tions four and five. 

1791. The following alterations were made: — 
In the second paragraph, second sentence, (1790,) for 
" About twenty years ago," we have, " In the latter end 
of the year 1766." The following was inserted as the 
next sentence : — " In the same year Thomas Webb 
preached in a hired room near the barracks ; and in 
the year 1767 the rigging-house was occupied." The 
following was also inserted : — " The first Methodist 
church in New-York was built in 1768 or 1769." 

1 792, The clause relating to "the rigging-house" 
is omitted. And, in the last paragraph but one, (1789,) 
reference is made to a tract " On the Nature and Sub- 
jects of Christian Baptism," which was inserted in 
this edition, as it had been in those of 1790 and 1791. 

The Address is dated, "Baltimore, Nov. 16, 1792." 

1T9@. The following alterations appear: — In 
the first paragraph (1790) the sentences from "In 
1729" to " a holy people" are marked with quotations, 
and this note added at the foot of the page, " These 
are the words of the Messrs. Wesley themselves." In 
the second paragraph the first sentence is omitted, and 
the next begins, "In the year 1766, &c." In the 
third paragraph, " Delaware," and " the extremities of 
the western and eastern states," are included among the 
subjects of the work of God. In the fourth paragraph 
(1st of 1789) all after "modern churches" is struck 
out. In the fifth paragraph (2d of 1789) the words 
"collegiate and" are struck out; the college (Cokes- 



92 The Origin of the M. E. Church. [Ch. 1. 

bury) having then been destroyed. The clause refer- 
ring, to the extract on baptism is struck out. The 
reference to the other tracts, however, is retained, 
though they were not published in the Discipline of 
1796. 

18 IS. In 1812 the reference to the plan of edu- 
cation and the Doctrinal Tracts was omitted, the former 
having been struck from the Discipline, and the latter 
no longer published in connection with it. 

1 840. In the last line of the last paragraph (1789) 
the words " and religious" were inserted after " cha- 
ritable." 

The signatures to the Address have, of course, varied from 
time to time with the changes in the episcopacy. Until 1800 it 
was signed by "Thomas Coke" and "Francis Asbury." In 
1800 and 1804 the name of "Richard Whatcoat" was added. 
In 1808 and 1812 it was signed by " Francis Asbury" and " Wil- 
liam M'Kendree." In 1816 and 1820 by " William M'Kendree," 
Enoch George," and " Robert R. Roberts." In 1824 and 1828, 
"Joshua Soule" and Elijah Hedding" are added. In 1832 
" Enoch George" omitted, and " James O. Andrew" and " John 
Emory" added. In 1836 "William M'Kendree" and "John 
Emory" omitted, and "Beverly Waugh" and "Thomas A. 
Morris" added. In 1844 the name of " Edmund S. Janes" and 
" Leonidas L. Hamline" added. In 1848 the names of " Joshua 
Soule" and "James O. Andrew" omitted. In 1852 the names 
of " Levi Scott," " Matthew Simpson," " Osmon C. Baker," and 
"Edward R. Ames" added. Bishop Hamline having resigned, 
his name was left out. 



CHAPTER I. 

SECTION I. 

Of the Origin of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The only notice of the subject in 1784 is contained 
in the answer to question 3, p. 27. The title is first 
found in 1792, but the substance of the section is con- 
tained in the Discipline of 1789, sections three and 
four, as follows : — 



Sec. 1.] The Origin of the M. E. Church. 93 

1787. " Sec. 3. On the Nature and Constitu- 
tion of our Church. 

" We are thoroughly convinced that the Church of En- 
gland, to which we have been united, is deficient in sev- 
eral of the most important parts of Christian discipline ; 
and that (a few ministers and members excepted) it has 
lost the life and power of religion. We are not ignorant 
of the spirit and design it has ever discovered in Europe, 
of rising to pre-eminence and worldly dignities by virtue 
of a national establishment, and by the most servile devo- 
tion to the will of temporal governors : and we fear the 
same spirit will lead the same Church in these United 
States (though altered in its name) to similar designs and 
attempts, if the number and strength of its members will 
ever afford a probability of success; and particularly to 
obtain a national establishment, which we cordially ab- 
hor as the great bane of truth and holiness, and con- 
sequently the greatest impediment in the world to the 
progress of vital Christianity. 

" For these reasons we have thought it our duty to 
form ourselves into an independent church. And as the 
most excellent mode of church government, according to 
our maturest judgment, is that of a moderate episcopacy, 
and as we are persuaded that the uninterrupted succession 
of bishops from the apostles can be proved neither from 
Scripture nor antiquity, we therefore have constituted 
ourselves into an Episcopal Church, under the direction 
of bishops, elders, deacons, and preachers, according to 
the forms of ordination annexed to our Prayer-book, and 
the regulations laid down in this Form of Discipline." 

1789. " Sec. 4. On constituting of Bishops, and 
their Duty. 

" Quest. 1. What is the proper origin of the Epis- 
copal authority in our church ? 

" Ans. In the year 1784 the Rev. John Wesley, 
who, under God, has been the father of the great re- 
vival of religion now extending over the earth by the 
means of the Methodists, determined, at the interces- 
sion of multitudes of his spiritual children on this con- 



94 The Origin of the M. E. Church. [Ch 1. 

tinent, to ordain ministers for America, and for this 
purpose sent over three regularly-ordained clergy ; but 
preferring the Episcopal mode of church government 
to any other, he solemnly set apart, by the imposition 
of his hands and prayer, one of them, namely, Thomas 
Coke, doctor of civil law, late of Jesus College, in the 
University of Oxford, for the episcopal office ; and 
having delivered to him letters of episcopal orders, 
commissioned and directed him to set apart Francis 
Asbury, then general assistant of the Methodist Soci- 
ety in America, for the same Episcopal office, he, the 
said Francis Asbury, being first ordained deacon and 
elder. In consequence of which, the said Francis 
Asbury was solemnly set apart for the said Episcopal 
office by prayer and the imposition of the hands of the 
said Thomas Coke, other regularly-ordained ministers 
assisting in the sacred ceremony. At which time the 
General Conference held at Baltimore did unanimously 
receive the said Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury as 
their bishops, being fully satisfied of the validity of 
their Episcopal ordination." 

1793. These sections were condensed into one, 
with the present title and number. Section 3, of 1787, 
was struck out, and the following paragraph substituted : 

" The preachers and members of our society, in 
general, being convinced that there was a great defi- 
ciency of vital religion in the Church of England in 
America, and being in many places destitute of the 
Christian sacraments, as several of the clergy had for- 
saken their churches, requested the late Rev. John 
Wesley to take such measures, in his wisdom and 
prudence, as would afford them suitable relief in their 
distress." 

The remainder of the section reads as in the answer 
of section 4, 1789, except that the first sentence be- 
gins : — " In consequence of this our venerable friend, 
who, under God, had been the father of the great revival 
of religion now extending over the earth, by the means 



Sec. 2.] The Articles of Religion. 95 

of the Methodists, determined to ordain ministers for 
America; and for this purpose, in the year 1784, 
sent over, &c. ;" and after the other titles of Dr. 
Coke it is added " and a presbyter of the Church of 
England." 

SECTION II. 

Articles of Religion. 

The Articles of Religion were originally prepared 
by Mr. Wesley, and printed in " the Sunday Service" 
which he sent over to America. They were not in- 
corporated into the body of the Discipline until 1790, 
when they constituted the thirty-fifth section. In 
1791 they were the thirty-sixth section, and in 1792 
they took their present place as the second section. 

1784. The original articles are here compared 
with the Thirty-nine xlrticles of the Church of England, 
on the same plan that the first Discipline was compared 
with the Large Minutes.* 

" I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. 

" There is but one living and true God, everlasting, 
without body, parts, or passions ; of infinite power, 
wisdom, and goodness ; the Maker and Preserver of 
all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of 
this Godhead there are 1 three Persons of one substance, 
power, and eternity ; the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. 

" II. Of the Word, or Son of God, who 2 was made 
very Man. 

" The Son, who 3 is the Word of the Father, be- 
gotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and 
eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took 

* See page 25. l " be." — Thirty. nine. Articles. 

* " which."— B 3 " which."— lb 



96 The Articles of Religion, and CCh. 1. 

man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, [of 
her substance ;] so that two whole and perfect natures, 
that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined 
together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is 
one Christ, very God, and very man, who truly suf- 
fered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his 
Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original 
guilt, but also for actual sins of men. 

[" (III.) Of the going down of Christ into Hell. 

" As Christ died for us, and was buried ; so also is it to be 
believed that he went down into hell.] 

" III. (IV.) Of the Resurrection of Christ. 

" Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took 
again his body, with [flesh, bones, and] all things 
appertaining to the perfection of man's nature, where- 
with he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until 
he return to judge all men at the last day. 

" IV. (V.) Of the Holy Ghost. 

" The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and 
the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with 
the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. 

" V. (VI.) Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures 
for Salvation. 

" Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to 
salvation : so that whatsoever is not read therein, or 1 
may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any 
man, that it should be believed as an Article of the 
Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. 
In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand 
those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, 
of whose authority was never any doubt in the church. 



nor." — Thirty. nine Articles. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty-nine Articles. 97 

" Of the Names [and Number'] of the Canonical 
Books. 

" Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuterono- 
my, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, 
The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, 
The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chron- 
icles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The Book of 
Ezra, 1 The Book of Nehe?niah, 2 The Book of Hester, 
The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesi- 
astes, or the Preacher, Cantica, or Songs of Solomon, 
Four Prophets the greater, Twelve Prophets the less. 

[" And the other books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth 
read for example of life and instruction of manners ; but yet 
doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine : such are these 
following : — 

'' The Third Book of Esdras, The Fourth Book of Esdras, 
The Book of Tobias, The Book of Judith, The rest of the Book 
of Esther, The Book of Wisdom, Jesus the Son of Sirach, 
Baruch the Prophet, The Song of the three Children, The 
Story of Susanna, Of Bel. and the Dragon, The Prayer of 
Manasses, The First Book of Maccabees, The Second Book of 
Maccabees.] 

" All the books of the New Testament, as they 
are commonly received, we do receive and account 
["them] canonical. 

" VI. (VII.) Of the Old Testament. 

"The Old Testament is not contrary to the New, 
for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting 
life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only 
Mediator between God and man, being both God and 
man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, who 3 feign 
that the old fathers did look only for transitory pro- 
mises. Although the law given from God by Moses, 
as touching ceremonies and rites, doth* not bind Chris- 



1 "The First Book of Esdras." — Thirty-nine Articles. 
3 " The Second Book of Esdras."— lb. 
* " which."— lb. * " do."— lb. 



98 The Articles of Religion, and [Ch. 1. 

tians, 1 nor ought the civil precepts thereof 2 of neces- 
sity to be received in any commonwealth : yet not- 
withstanding, no Christian [man] whatsoever is free 
from the obedience of the commandments which are 
called moral. 

[" (VIII.) Of the three Creeds. 

" The three creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius' Creed, and 
that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought 
thoroughly to be received and believed : for they may be proved 
by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.] 

" VII. (IX.) Of Original or Birth Sin. 

" Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, 
(as the Pelagians do vainly talk,) but it is the [fault 
and] corruption of the nature of every man, that natu- 
rally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby 
man is very far gone from original righteousness, and 
[is] of his own nature inclined to evil, and that con- 
tinually, 3 

[" and therefore in every person born into this world, it de- 
serveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of 
nature doth remain; yea, in them that are regenerated ; whereby 
the lust of the flesh, called in Greek, Qpovijpa capnoc, which some 
do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, 
some the desire of the flesh, is not subject to the law of God. 
And although there is no condemnation for them that believe 
and are baptized, yet the apostle doth confess, that concupiscence 
and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.] 

" VIII. (X.) Of Free Will 

"The condition of man after the fall of Adam is 
such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his 
own natural strength and [good] works, to faith, and 
calling upon God : wherefore we have no power to do 
good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without 
the grace of God by Christ, preventing us, that we nay 



1 "Christian men." —Thirty-nine Articles. 

2 "nor the civil precepts thereof ought." — lb. 

3 " so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit." — lb. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty-nine Articles. 99 

have a good will, and working with us, when we have 
that good will. 

" IX. (XI.) Of the Justification of Man. 

" We are accounted righteous before God, only for 
the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by 
faith, and not for our own works or deservings : 
wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a 
most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, [as 
more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justi- 
fication.] 

"X. (XII.) Of good Works. 

" Although 1 good works, which are the fruits of 
faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away 
our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment ; 
yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, 
and [do] spring out [necessarily] of a true and lively 
faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as 
evidently known, as a tree discerned by its 2 fruit. 

[" (XIII.) Of Works before Justification. 

" Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration 
of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God ; forasmuch as they spring 
not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to 
receive grace, or (as the school authors say) deserve grace of 
congruity ; yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath 
willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they 
have the nature of sin.] 

" XI. (XIV.) Of Works of Supererogation. 

" Voluntary works, besides, over and above God's 
commandments, which they call works of supereroga- 
tion, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety. 
For by them men do declare, that they do not only 
render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but 
that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is 
required : whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have 



1 " Albeit that."— Thirty-nine Articles. 8 " the."— lb. 



100 Tne Articles of Religion, and [Ch. I. 

done all that is 1 commanded [to] you, say, We are un- 
profitable servants. 

[" (XV.) Of Christ alone without Sin. 

" Christ, in the truth of our nature, was made like unto us in 
all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void, both 
in his flesh and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without 
spot, who, by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away 
the sins of the world ; and sin (as St. John saith) was not in 
him. But all we the rest (although baptized and born again in 
Christ) yet offend in many things ; and if we say we have no 
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.] 

" XII. (XVI.) Of Sin after Justification. 2 

" Not every sin willingly committed after justifica- 
tion is the 3 sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpar 
donable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to 
be denied to such as fall into sin, after justification : 4 
after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may de 
part from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the 
grace of God [we may] rise again, and amend our 
lives. And therefore they are to be condemned who 5 
say they can no more sin as long as they live here, or 
deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent. 

[" (XVII.) Of Predestination and Election. 

" Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, 
whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath 
constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from 
curse and damnation those, whom he hath chosen in Christ out 
of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, 
as vessels made to honour. Wherefore they which be endued 
with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's 
purpose by his Spirit working in due season : they through grace 
obey the calling : they be justified freely : they be made sons of 
God by adoption : they be made like the image of his only-be- 
gotten Son Jesus Christ : they walk religiously in good works, 
and, at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting 
felicity. 



1 " are." — Thirty-nine Articles. 2 " Baptism." — lb. 

3 " deadly sin willingly committed after baptism is." — lb 
* " baptism." — lb. 5 " which." — lb. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty-nine Articles. 102 

" As the godly consideration of predestination and our election 
in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to 
godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of 
the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their 
earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and hea- 
venly things ; as well because it doth greatly establish and con- 
firm their faith of eternal salvation, to be enjoyed through Christ, 
as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God : 
so for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, 
to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's pre- 
destination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil 
dost thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness 
of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation. 

"Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise 
as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture : and in 
our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have 
expressly declared unto us in the word of God. 

" (XVIII.) Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of 
Christ. 

" They also are to be had accursed, that presume to say, that 
every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he pro- 
fesseth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that 
law, and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out 
unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be 
saved.] 

" XIII. (XIX.) Of the Church. 

"The visible church of Christ is a congregation of 
faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is 
preached, and the sacraments [be] duly administered 
according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that 
of necessity are requisite to the same. 

[" As the Church of Hierusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, 
have erred ; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only 
in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters 
of faith. 

" (XX.) Of the Authority of the Church. 

" The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies, and 
authority in controversies of faith ; and yet it is not lawful for 
the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's word 
written ; neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that 
it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church 
be a witness and a keeper of holy writ, yet, as it ought not to 



102 The Articles of Religion, and [Ch. 1. 

decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought 
it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of sal- 
vation. 

" (XXL) Of the Authority of General Councils. 

" General councils may not be gathered together without the 
commandment and will of princes. And when they be gathered 
together (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all 
be not governed with the Spirit and word of God) they may err, 
and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. 
Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation, 
have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared 
that they be taken out of Holy Scripture.] 

"XIV. (XXII.) Of Purgatory. 

" The Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, par- 
dons, worshipping, and adoration, as well of images, 
as of reliques, and also invocation of saints, is a fond 
thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant[y] 
of Scripture, but [rather] repugnant to the word of 
God. 

[" (XXIII.) Of Ministering in the Congregation. 

"It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of 
public preaching, or ministering the sacraments in the congre- 
gation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the 
same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, 
which be chosen and called to this work by men who have public 
authority given unto them in the congregation to call and send 
ministers into the Lord's vineyard.] 

" XV. (XXIV.) Of speaking in the Congregation in 
such a tongue as the people under stand[eth.\ 

" It is a thing plainly repugnant to the word of God, 
and the custom of the primitive church, to have public 
prayer in the church, or to minister the sacraments in 
a tongue not understood by 1 the people. 

" XVI. (XXV.) Of the Sacraments. 

" Sacraments ordained of Christ, are 2 not only badges 
or tokens of Christian men's profession ; but rather they 

1 " understanded of." — Thirty-nine Articles. 2 " be." — lb. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty-nine Articles. 103 

are 1 certain [sure witnesses and effectual] signs of 
grace, and God's good will toward us, by the which 
he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, 
but also strengthen and confirm our faith in him. 

" There are two sacraments ordained of Christ our 
Lord in the gospel ; that is to say, baptism, and the 
supper of the Lord. * 

" Those five commonly called sacraments ; that is 
to say, Confirmation, penance, orders, matrimony, and 
extreme unction, are not to be counted for sacraments 
of the gospel, being such as have grown, partly of the 
corrupt following of the apostles, partly are states of 
life allowed in the Scriptures : but yet have not the 
like nature of [sacraments with] baplism and the Lord's 
supper, because 2 they have not any visible sign or 
ceremony ordained of God. 

" The sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be 
gazed upon, or to be carried about. ; but that, we should 
duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive 
the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation : 
but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to 
themselves condemnation, 3 as St. Paul saith. 

[" (XXVI.) Of the TJnworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders 
not the Effect of the Sacrament. 

"Although in (he visible church the evil be ever mingled with 
the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the 
ministration of the word and sacraments : yet forasmuch as they 
do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minis- 
ter by his commission and authority, we may use their ministry, 
both in hearing the word of God, and in the receiving- of the 
sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken 
away by their wickedness, nor the grace of'God's gifts diminished 
from such, as by faith, and rightly, do receive the sacraments 
ministered unto them, which be effectual, because of Christ's 
institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men. 

" Nevertheless, it appertained to the discipline of the Church* 
that inquiry be made of evil ministers, and that they be accused 
by those that have knowledge of their offences : and finally, 
being found guilty, by just judgment, be deposed.] 

1 " be." — Thirty- nine Articles. 2 " for that." — lb. 

' " damnation." — lb. 



104 The Articles of Religion, and [Ch. I 

"XVII. (XXVII.) Of Baptism. 

"Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of 
difference, whereby Christians 1 are distinguished 2 from 
others that are 3 not baptized ; 4 but it is also a sign of 
regeneration, or the new birth, [whereby, as by an 
instrument, they that receive baptism rightly are grafted 
into the Church : the promises of the forgiveness of 
sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the 
Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed : faith is 
confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer 
unto God.] The baptism of young children is [in any 
wise] to be retained in the Church [as most agreeable 
with the institution of Christ.] 

" XVIII. (XXVIII.) Of the Lord's Supper. 

" The supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the 
love that Christians ought to have among themselves 
one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our re- 
demption by Christ's death : insomuch, that to such as 
rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the 
bread which we break is a partaking of the body of 
Christ ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking 
of the blood of Christ. 

" Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance 
of bread and wine in the supper of the Lord, cannot be 
proved by holy writ ; but is repugnant to the plain 
words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacra- 
ment, and hath given occasion to many superstitions. 

"The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in* 
the supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. 
And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received 
and eaten in the supper, is faith. 

" The sacrament of the Lord's supper was not by 
Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or 
worshipped. 



1 " Christian men." — Thirty-nine Articles. 2 " discerned." — lb. 
3 « be." — lb. * " christened." — lb. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty-nine Articles. 105 



["(XXIX.) Of the wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ 
in the Use of the Lord's Supper. 

"The wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although 
they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as St. Au- 
gustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ ; 
yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ ; but rather to their 
condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great 
a thing.] 

" XIX. (XXX.) Of both Kinds. 

" The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay 
people ; for both the parts of the Lord's supper 1 by- 
Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be 
ministered to all Christians 2 alike. 

"XX. (XXXI.) Of the one Oblation of Christ, finished 
upon the Cross. 

" The offering of Christ once made, is that perfect 
redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the 
sins of the whole world, both original and actual ; and 
there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. 
Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is 3 
commonly said that the priest doth 4 offer Christ for the 
quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, 
is a blasphernous fable, and dangerous deceit. 5 

" XXI. (XXXII.) Of the Marriage of Ministers. 6 

" The ministers of Christ 1 are not commanded by 
God's law either to vow the estate of single life, or to 
abstain from marriage ; therefore it is lawful for them, 
as for all other Christians,® to marry at their own dis- 
cretion, as they shall judge the same to serve best 9 to 
godliness. 



1 " sacrament." — Thirty-nine Articles. 2 " Christian men." — lb. 
3 » was."— lb. * « did."— lb. 

5 " were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits." — lb. 

6 " Priests." — lb. 7 " Bishops, priests, and deacons." — Jb 
9 " Christian men." — lb. 9 " better." — lb. 



106 The Articles of Religion, and [Ch. 1 

[" (XXXIII.) Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be 
avoided. 

" That person which by open denunciation of the Church is 
rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommuni- 
cated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful 
as a heathen and publican, until he be openly reconciled by pen- 
ance, and received into the Church by a judge that hath autho- 
rity thereunto.] 

"XXII. (XXXIV.) Of the Rites and Ceremonies of 
Churches. 1 

" It is not necessary that, rites and ceremonies should 
in all places be the same, or exactly alike ; for they 
have been always different, 2 and may be changed ac- 
cording to the diversity of countries, times, and men's 
manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's 
word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, will- 
ingly and purposely doth openly break the rites' 3 and. 
ceremonies of the church to which he belongs, which 
are 4 not repugnant to the word of God, and are 5 or- 
dained and approved by common authority, ought to 
be rebuked openly, that others may fear to do the 
like, as one 6 that offendeth against the common order 
of the church, [and hurteth the authority of the magis- 
trate,] and woundeth the consciences of [the] weak, 
brethren. 

" Every particular [or national] church may 1 ordain, 
change, or 8 abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all 
things may be done to edification. 9 

["(XXXV.) Of the Homilies. 

" The second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we 
have joined, under this article, doth contain a godly and whole- 



1 " Of the Traditions of the Church." — Thirty-nine Articles. 

2 "traditions and ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; 
for at all times they have been divers." — lb. 

3 " traditions."—//?. * " be."— lb. 5 " be."— lb. 6 " he."— lb. 
7 " hath authority 1o ordain." — lb. 8 " and." — lb. 

9 •« ceremonies, or rites of the church, ordained only by man's au- 
thority, so that all things be done to edifying."— lb. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty-nine Articles 107 

some doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former 
Book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward 
the Sixth, and therefore we judge them to be read in churches 
by the ministers diligently and distinctly, that they may be un- 
derstanded of the people. 

Of the Names of the Homilies. 

" 1, Of the Right Use of the Church. 2. Against Peril of 
Idolatry. 3. Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches. 4. Of 
Good Works : first of Fasting. 5. Against Gluttony and Drunk- 
enness. 6. Against excess of Apparel. 7. Of Prayer. 8. Of 
the Place and Time of Prayer. 9. That Common Prayers and 
Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known Tongue. 10. Of 
the reverent Estimation of God's Word. 11. Of Alms-doing. 
12. Of the Nativity of Christ. 13. Of the Passion of Christ. 
14. Of the Resurrection of Christ. 15. Of the worthy receiv- 
ing of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. 16. Of 
the Gifts of the Holy Ghost. 17. For the Rogation-days. 
18. Of the State of Matrimony. 19. Of Repentance. 20. Against 
Idleness. 21. Against Rebellion. 

" (XXXVI.) Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers. 

" The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and 
Ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of 
Edward the Sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority 
of parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such conse- 
cration and ordering : neither hath it any thing that of itself is 
superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever are con- 
secrated or ordered according to the rites of that book, since the 
second year of the forenamed King Edward, unto this time, or 
hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same 
rites ; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully 
consecrated and ordered. 

("XXXVII.) Of the Civil Magistrates. 

" The king's majesty hath the chief power in this realm of 
England, and other his dominions, unto whom the chief govern- 
ment of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical 
or civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, 
subject to any foreign jurisdiction. 

" Where we attribute to the king's majesty the chief govern- 
ment, by which titles we understand the minds of some slander- 
ous folks to be offended ; we give not to our princes the minis- 
tering either of God's word, or of the sacraments, the which 
thing the injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our queen 
do most plainly testify ; but that only prerogative, which we see 



108 Articles of Religion, and [Ch. 1. 

to have been given always to all godly princes in Holy Scrip- 
tures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates 
and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be 
ecclesiastical or temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the 
stubborn and evil doers. 

" The bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of 
England. 

" The laws of the realm may punish Christian men with 
death, for heinous and grievous offences. 

" It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the 
magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.]* 

"XXIII. [XXIV.] (XXXVIII.) Of Christian merCs 
Goods, [ivhich are not common.] 

" The riches and goods of Christians are not com- 
mon as touching the right, title, and possession of the 
same, as some 1 do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, 
every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, 
liberally to give alms to the poor according to his 
ability. 

"XXIV. [XXV.] (XXXIX.) Of a Christian Man's 
Oath. 

" As we confess that vain and rash swearing is for- 
bidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, and 
James his apostle ; so we judge that the Christian reli 

* Although Mr. Wesley inserted, in the Liturgy which he prepared 
for the American Methodists, a prayer for " the supreme rulers of the 
United States," yet he probably did not think himself sufficiently 
familiar with the subject to draw up an article respecting " the civil 
magistrates." Such an article was framed, however, at the Christmas 
Conference, when the church was organized. It could not be printed 
with the others, because they had been previously printed in England. 
It was inserted, however, in the next edition of the Prayer-book, in 
1786, (see " Defence of our Fathers," sec. 8,) and read as follows : — 

" XXIII. Of the Eiders of the United States of America. 

" The congress, the general assemblies, the governors, and the 
councils of state, as the delegates of the people, are the rulers of the 
United States of America, according to the division of power made 
to them by the general Act of Confederation, and by the Constitu. 
tions of their respective states. And the said states ought not to be 
subject to any foreign jurisdiction." 

1 " certain Anabaptists." — Thirty-nine Articles. 



Sec. 2.] The Thirty -nine Articles. 109 

gion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when 
the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and cha- 
rity, so it be done according to the prophet's teaching, 
in justice, judgment, and truth." 

The following alterations have been made in the 
Articles, from time to time. It will be perceived that 
they are almost all typographical errors, or substitutions 
of modern forms of expression ; but, on account of the 
importance of the subject, it has been thought best to 
notice them all. 

1786. Article I, 1. 2. For "without body, parts, 
or passions," read " without body or parts." 

Article II, 11. 1, 2, "begotten from everlasting of 
the Father," omitted. 

Article XIII, 1. 2. For " in the which"—" in which." 

"Article XVI, 1. 15. For "grown partly"— "partly 
grown." 

1789. Article V, 1. 4, " the" omitted. 

Article XIV, 1. 2. For " pardons"—" pardon." 

1700. Article V, 1. 9. For "Of the names"- 
" The names." 

Article XXIII, (in the note,) 1. 1. Before "The 
Congress," insert " The President." 

1791. Article XIX, 1. 4. For "ministered"— 
" administered." 

1796. Article XVIII, 1. 10. For "the Lord"— 
" our Lord." 

1804. Article XXIII, (in the note.) For "the 
general Act of Confederation" — "the Constitution of the 
United States." After " said states," the following in- 
serted — " are a sovereign and independent nation, and." 

1 808. Article V, 1. 3. For " or"—" nor." 

Article XVIII, 1. 15. For " spiritual"—" scriptural," 
a misprint which has been continued in every sub- 
sequent edition. 

1 8 IS. Article VI, 1. 10, " to" omitted. 

Article X, 1. 7, " is" inserted after " tree." 

Article XVIII, 11. 1, 2. The words, "of the love," 
8 



110 Of the General and Annual Conferences. *Ch. 1. 

omitted — a misprint which was not corrected until 
1840. 

1816. Article V, 1. 1 . For " Holy Scripture con 
taineth" — " The Holy Scriptures contain." 

Article XI, 1. 2. For " they call"—" are called." 

Article XVI, end. " 1 Cor. xi, 29" added. 

1 8^0. Article I, 1. 4, " both"- omitted. 

Article XVIII. 1. 16. For " mean"— " means." 

Article XXIII, end The following note was added : 
"As far as it respects civil affairs, we believe it the duty 
of Christians, and especially all Christian ministers, to be 
subject to the supreme authority of the country where 
they may reside, and to use all laudable means to en- 
join obedience to the powers that be ; and therefore it 
is expected that all our preachers and people, who may 
be under the British or any other government, will be- 
have themselves as peaceable and orderly subjects."* 

1 834. Article VI, 1. 8. For " rites"— " rights," a 
misprint which was continued until 1836. 

SECTION III. 

Of the General and Annual Conferences. 

The section corresponding to this in 1787 was the 
second, entitled — " On the Method of holding a Con- 
ference, and the Business to be done therein." In 
1792 it was made the third section, with the title, 
"Of the General and District Conferences," and in 1796, 
" District"! was changed to " Yearly" and that, in 1816, 
to " Annual." 



* This note was added especially to meet the peculiar case of the 
brethren in Canada, against whom unfounded suspicions had been 
created, because the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which they were 
then a part, was regarded as a foreign ecclesiastical authority. 

t To avoid repetition it is here stated, once for all, that throughout 
the Discipline of 1792 the annual conferences are called "^District 
Conferences," there being then one held for every presiding elder's dis- 
trict. But the term was never afterward thus employed ; though it 
was subsequently (1820-1836) applied to the conferences of local 
preachers appointed for each presiding elder's district. 



Sec. 3.] Of the General Conference. Ill 

The introductory part of this section is found in the 
first Discipline, (Question 1,) and as it has undergone 
no material alteration since, it will be sufficient to refer 
to it.* The remainder of the section was not divided 
until 1808, but for convenience, the whole will be 
treated under the heads then adopted, namely, " Of 
the General Conference" and " Of the Annual Con- 
ference." 

Of the General Conference. 

Nothing appears, on this subject, until 1792, when 
the first General Conference, after the organization of the 
church, was held. We then find the following : — 

179£. " Quest. 2. Who shall compose the Gen- 
eral Conference ? 

" Ans. All the travelling preachers who shall be in 
full connection at the time of holding the conference. 

" Quest. 3. When and where shall the next General 
Conference be held? 

" Ans. On the first day of November, in the year 
1796, in the town of Baltimore." 

179©. Question 3, struck out. 

1 800. An additional qualification for member- 
ship was added, namely : — to " have travelled four 
years." 

1 804. It was provided that the " four years" 
should date " from the time that they were received on 
trial bv an annual conference." 

1808. This was the last meeting of a General 
Conference, composed of all the preachers who had 
travelled four years. It was then resolved to have, in 
future, a delegated General Conference, and the fol- 
lowing was adopted as its constitution, in lieu of the 
former. 

" Quest. 2. Who shall compose the General Confer- 
ence, and what are the regulations and powers belonging 
to it ? 

"Ans. 1. The General Conference shall be com- 



* See above, p. 26. 



112 Of the General Conference. [Ch. 1. 

posed of one member for every five members of each 
annual conference, to be appointed either by seniority 
or choice, at the discretion of such annual conference : 
yet so that such representatives shall have travelled at 
least four full calendar years from the time that they 
were received on trial by an annual conference, and 
are in full connection at the time of holding the con- 
ference. 

" 2. The General Conference shall meet on the first 
day of May, in the year of our Lord 1812, in the city 
of New-York, and thenceforward on the first day of 
May, once in four years perpetually, in such place or 
places as shall be fixed on by the General Conference 
from time to time : but the general superintendents, 
with or by the advice of all the annual conferences, or 
if there be no general superintendent, all the annual 
conferences respectively shall have power to call a 
General Conference, if they judge it necessary at any 
time. 

" 3. At all times when the General Conference is 
met, it shall take two-thirds of the representatives of all 
the annual conferences to make a quorum for transact- 
ing business. 

" 4. One of the general superintendents shall preside 
in the General Conference ; but in case no general su- 
perintendent be present, the General Conference shall 
choose a president pro tern. 

" 5. The General Conference shall have full powers 
to make rules and regulations for our church, under the 
following limitations and restrictions, namely : — 

" 1. The General Conference shall not revoke, alter, 
or change our Articles of Religion, nor establish any 
new standards or rules of doctrine contrary to our pre- 
sent existing and established standards of doctrine. 

" 2. They shall not allow of more than one represent- 
ative for every five members of the annual conference, 
nor allow of a less number than one for every seven. 

" 3. They shall not change or alter any part or rule 
of our government, so as to do away episcopacy, or 



Sec. 3.] Of the General Conference. 113 

destroy the plan of our itinerant general superintend 
ency. 

"4. They shall not revoke or change the general rules 
of the United Societies. 

" 5. They shall not do away the privileges of our 
ministers or preachers of trial by a committee, and 
of an appeal : neither shall they do away the privi- 
leges of our members of trial before the society, or by 
a committee, and of an appeal. 

" 6. They shall not appropriate the produce of the 
Book Concern, nor of the Chartered Fund, to any 
purpose other than for the benefit of the travelling, 
supernumerary, superannuated and worn-out preachers, 
their wives, widows, and children. 

" Provided, nevertheless, that upon the joint recom 
mendation of all the annual conferences, then a majority 
of two-thirds of the General Conference succeeding, 
shall suffice to alter any of the above restrictions." 

181©. The ratio of representation, in Ans. 1, 
was altered to one for every seven. 

1833. The former proviso, at the close of the 
restrictive rules, was struck out, and the following sub- 
stituted : " Provided, nevertheless, that upon the con- 
current recommendation of three-fourths of all the 
members of the several annual conferences, who shall 
be present and vote on such recommendation, then a 
majority of two-thirds of the General Conference suc- 
ceeding shall suffice to alter any of the above restric- 
tions excepting the first article : and also, whenever such 
alteration or alterations shall have been first recom- 
mended by two-thirds of the General Conference, so 
soon as three-fourths of the members of all the anriual 
conferences shall have concurred as aforesaid, such 
alteration or alterations shall take effect." 

1836. The ratio of representation was altered 
to one for every twenty-one ; and to allow this, the 
second of the restrictive rules was changed to the 
following: — 

" 2. They shall not allow of more than one repre- 



114 Of the Annual Conferences. [Ch. 1. 

sentative for every fourteen members of the annual 
conference, nor allow of a less number than one for 
every thirty: provided, nevertheless, that when there 
shall be in any annual conference a fraction of Iwo- 
thirds the number which shall be fixed for the ratio of 
representation, such annual conference shall be entitled 
to an additional delegate for such fraction ; and pro- 
vided, also, that no conference shall be denied the 
privilege of two delegates." 

1 8d©. Chapter iii, Section 2, Answer 1, is re- 
vised so as to read : — The General Conference shall be 
composed of one member for every twenty-seven mem- 
bers of each annual conference, to be appointed either 
by seniority or choice, at the discretion of such annual 
conference : yet so that such representatives shall have 
travelled at least four full calendar years from I he 
time that they were received on trial by an annual con- 
ference, and are in full connection at the lime of holding 
the conference. 

Of the Annual Conferences. 

First, as to who compose them, when and where held. 

There was nothing in relation to these points in the 
Discipline of 1784, or 1789 ; but in 1792 we have the 
following : — 

179S. " Quest. 4. Who are the members of the 
district conferences ? 

" Arts. All the travelling preachers of the district or 
districts respectively who are in full connection. 

" Quest. 5. How often are the district conferences 
to be held ? 

"Ans. Annually. 

'•' Quest. 6. How many circuits shall send preachers 
in order to form a district conference ? 

" Arts. Not fewer than three, nor more than twelve. 

" Quest. 7. Shall the bishop be authorized to unite 
two or more districts together, where he judges it ex- 
pedient, in order to form a district conference ? 

u Ans. He shall, as far as is consistent with the rule 
immediately preceding. 



Sec. 3.] Of the Annual Conferences. 115 

" Quest. 8. Who shall appoint the times of holding 
the district conferences ? 

"Am. The bishop." 

179©. Instead of question 4, above, we have, 

" Quest. 3. Who shall attend the yearly conferences ? 

u Ans. All the travelling preachers who are in full 
connection, and those who are to be received into full 
connection." 

The 5th, 6th, and 7th questions struck out. 

1804. The answer to Question 4 (Question 8, 
1792) reads : — " The bishops ; but they shall allow the 
annual conference to sit a week at least." 

The following added : — " Quest. 5. Who shall ap- 
point the place of holding the annual conference ? 
Arts. Each annual conference shall appoint the place 
of its own sitting." 

Second, as to the order of business. 

1784. The following order was adopted.* 
" Quest. 70. What is the method wherein we usually 
proceed in our conferences ? 

"Ans. We inquire, 1. W T hat preachers are admit- 
ted ? Who remain on trial ? Who are admitted on trial ? 
Who desist from travelling ? 2. Are there any objec 
tions to any of the preachers ? — who are named one by 
one. 3. How are the preachers stationed this year? 
4. What numbers are in the society ? What was con- 



° According to the Annual Minutes, the order of business, prior to 
the organization of the church, was as follows : — 

1773. "1. How are the preachers stationed? 

" 2. What numbers are there in the society?" 

The following questions were subsequently added, at the dates pre- 
fixed to them respectively : — 

1744. " 1. Who are admitted this year? 

" 2. Who are admitted on trial ? 

"3. Who are assistants this year? 

"4. Are there any objections to any of the preachers?" 

1779. " Who desist from travelling?" 

1780. " What preachers are admitted into full connection?" 

1782. "What is the yearly collection?" "How was it expended?" 
" Whei'e and when shall our next conferences be held?" 

1783. " What sum is to be raised for the support of the preachers' 
wives?" 

1784. "What preachers have died this year?" 



116 Of the Annual Conferences. [Ch. I. 

tributed for the contingent expenses? 6. How was 
this expended ? 7. What is contributed toward the 
fund for the superannuated preachers and the widows 
and orphans of the preachers ? 8. What demands are 
there upon it ? 9. How many preachers' wives are to 
be provided for ? By what circuits and in what propor- 
tion ? 10. Where and when may our next conference 
begin ?" 

1787. Item 9 was omitted. 

1 7%f%» The order of business was thus modified :— 

" Quest. 9. What is the method wherein we usually 
proceed in the district conferences ? 

"Answ. W T e inquire, — 

" 1. W 7 hat preachers are admitted on trial? 

" 2. Who remain on trial? 

" 3. Who are admitted into full connection ? 

" 4. Who are the deacons ? 

" 5. Who are the elders ? 

" 6. Who have been elected by the unanimous suf- 
frages of the General Conferences to exercise the Epis- 
copal office, and superintend the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in America ? 

" 7. Who are under a location, through weakness 
of body, or family concerns ? 

" 8. Who are the supernumeraries ?* 

" 9. Who have died this year? 

" 10. Are all the preachers blameless in life and 
conversation ? 

"11. Who are expelled from the connection? 

" 1 2. Where are the preachers stationed this year ? 

" 13. What numbers are in society? 

" 14. What has been collected for the contingent 
expenses ? 

" 15. How has this been expended ? 

"16. What is contributed toward the fund for the 



c "A supernumerary preacher is one so worn out in the itinerant 
service, as to be rendered incapable of preaching constantly : but at the 
same time is willing to do any work in the ministry which the confer- 
ence may direct, and his strength enable him to perform." 



Sec. 3. J Of the Annual Conferences. 117 

superannuated preachers, and the widows and orphans 
of the preachers ? 

" 17. What demands are there upon it? 

"18. Where and when shall our next conference be 
held r 

1800. The fourteenth item reads, "What has 
been collected for the contingent expenses, for the 
making up the allowance of the preachers, &c." The 
sixteenth and seventeenth items are omitted. 

1 804, The eighth item reads, " W T ho are the su- 
pernumerary, superannuated, and worn-out preachers ?" 

1813. The seventh item reads, "Who have lo- 
cated this year?" The eighth item of 1804 is divided 
so as to read, — " 8. Who are the supernumeraries ? 
9. Who are the superannuated or worn-out preachers ?" 
The following item was added: — "11. Who have 
withdrawn from the connection this year ?" 

1832. After the ninth item, (1812,) the following 
was added : — " Every superannuated preacher, who 
may reside without the bounds of the conference of 
which he is a member, shall annually forward to his 
conference a certificate of his Christian and ministerial 
conduct, together with an account of the number and 
circumstances of his family, signed by the presiding 
elder of the district, or the preacher in charge of the 
circuit or station within whose bounds he may reside ; 
without which the conference shall not be required to 
allow his claim." 

The fifteenth item (fourteenth, 1800) was thus ex- 
pressed: — " What amounts are necessary for the super- 
annuated preachers, and the widows and orphans of 
preachers, and to make up the deficiencies of those who 
have not obtained their regular allowance on the cir- 
cuits ?" The sixteenth (fifteenth, 1792) thus:—" What 
has been collected on the foregoing accounts, and how 
has it been applied ?" A new item was also inserted, 
namely, " 17. What has been contributed for the sup- 
port of missions, and what for the publication of Bibles, 
tracts, and Sunday-school books ?" 



118 Of the Annual Conferences. [Ch. 1. 

1840. After the eighth item, (1812,) the follow- 
ing was added: — "A supernumerary preacher, who 
refuses to attend to the work assigned him, unless in 
case of sickness, or other unavoidable cause or causes, 
shall not be allowed to exercise the functions of his 
office, nor even to preach among us; nevertheless, the 
final determination of the case shall be with the annual 
conference of which he is a member, who shall have 
power to acquit, suspend, locate, or expel him, as the 
case may be." 

1 844. The seventeeth item of the order of busi- 
ness of the annual conferences altered by striking out the 
word "Bibles," and inserting at the close, "And what 
to aid the American Bible Society and its auxiliaries ?" 
1848, Changed so as to read, "What has been 
contributed for the support of missions ? What for the 
Sunday-School Union? What for the publication and 
circulation of tracts? and what to aid the American 
Bible Society ?" 

" Quest. 6. Who have been elected by the suffrages 
of the General Conference to exercise the episcopal 
office and superintend the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in America?" was left out. 

Quest. 13 was altered so as to read, "What is the 
number of members and what of probationers in society?" 
What follows after the ninth and fifteenth items 
was stricken out. 

1 8531. The phraseology of the answer to ques- 
tion 1, is revised so as to read, "All the travelling 
preachers, both those who are in full connection and 
those who are on trial." The following is added : — 

" Quest. 4. Who shall preside at the annual con- 
ferences ? 

" Ans. The bishop. In case no bishop be present, 
a presiding elder, appointed by a bishop, by letter or 
otherwise, shall preside. But if no appointment be 
made, or if the presiding elder appointed do not attend, 
the conference shall in either of these cases elect the 
president by ballot, without a debate, from among the 
presiding elders." 



Sec. 3.] Of the Annual Conferences. 119 

There shall he " thirty-nine " (instead of thirty -one) 
conferences in the year. 

Third, Miscellaneous Questions. 

1787, The following was added : — 

" Quest. 3. Is there any other business to be done 
in the conference ? 

" Ans. The electing and ordaining of bishops, 
elders, and deacons." 

1702. The following was added : — 

*' Quest. 11. J-Jow are the districts to be formed? 

" Ans. According to the judgment of the bishop. 

" N. B. In case that there be no bishop to travel 
through the district, and exercise the Episcopal office, 
on account of death, the districts shall be regulated in 
every respect by the district conferences and the pre- 
siding elders till the ensuing General Conference, 
(ordinations only excepted.") 

170©. The following question was inserted: — 

" Quest. 7. Are there any other directions to be 
given concerning the yearly conferences? 

"Ans. There shall be six conferences in the year, 
as follows, namely :" [The boundaries of the annual 
conferences are given, in this and in subsequent 
editions until 1804, in this connection; but as this 
portion of the Discipline was afterward transferred to 
Part ii, Sec. 1, we shall there present a connected 
view of the whole.] 

1 8®0. The following was added at the close of 
the section : — " A. record of the proceedings of each 
annual conference shall be kept by a secretary, chosen 
for that purpose ; and let a copy of the said record be 
sent, to the General Conference. 

" Each annual conference is to pay its proportionable 
part toward the allowances of the bishops." 

1 804. The following portions of this section were 
transferred 1o Part ii, and constituted its first section, 
namely, the boundaries of the annual conferences, 
(1796J Question 11 and the note, (1792,) and the last 



120 Of the Quarterly Conferences. [Ch. 1. 

sentence added in 1800. These have been the sub- 
jects of Section 1, Part ii, from that time to the 
present. 

1 848. The answer to question 7 is made to read, 
" thirty-one" instead of " six." 

1853. Now reads, "Each annual conference 
shall pay its proportionate part toward the allowance 
of the widows and orphans of bishops." 

By an addition to Answer 4, the bishops are now 
authorized to draw on the Book Concern " for the 
amount of their quarterage and travelling expenses," 
as well as for house-rent, fuel, and table expenses. 

1 85©. Question 7, the answer is changed so as 
to read, " There shall be forty-seven conferences." 

Section 3, Answer 13, is revised as follows : — 

What is the number of Church members? Num- 
ber of deaths the past year ? Number of probationers ? 
Number of local preachers ? Number of adults bap- 
tized the past year? Number of children baptized the 
past year? Number of churches? Their probable 
value ? Number of parsonages ? Their probable 
value? Amount collected for superannuated preachers? 
Amount collected for the Missionary Society ? Amount 
collected for the Tract Society ? Amount collected 
for the American Bible Society? Amount collected 
for the Sunday-School Union ? Number of Sunday 
schools ? Number of officers and teachers ? Num- 
ber of scholars ? Number of volumes in library ? 

Of the Quarterly Conferences. 

1848. Part I, ch. iii, sec. 4. — This is a new sec- 
tion, in which are brought together the duties and 
rights of quarterly conferences. The only alterations 
are those rendered necessary by the phraseology, ex- 
cept that each quarterly conference is not now (as it 
was in 1844) deemed a board of managers, auxiliary 
to the Sunday- School Union. 

1 853. The following is added in answer to the 
question — " Of whom shall the Quarterly Conference's 
be composed ?" — 



Sec. 3.] Of the Quarterly Conferences. 121 

" But the male superintendents of Sunday schools, 
being members of our Church, shall, by virtue of their 
office, have a seat in the Quarterly Conference having 
supervision of their schools, with the right to speak 
and vote on questions relating to Sunday schools, and 
on such questions only ; and the Missionary Committee 
shall have the right to a seat during the action of the Con- 
ference on the subject of Missions, but at no other time." 

The following also from ch. iv, sec. 2 : — 

u Quest. 3. How shall the minutes of the Quarterly 
Conference be kept. ? 

" Ans. The quarterly conference shall appoint a 
secretary to take down the proceedings thereof, in a 
book kept by one of the stewards of the circuit for that 
purpose." 

Quest. 3 becomes Quest. 4. There are now eight 
(instead of six) answers to this question. Answ. 1 is 
unaltered. Answ. 6 becomes 8. The remainder now 
read as follows : — 

" 2. To appoint a committee to make an estimate of 
the amount necessary to furnish fuel and table expenses 
for the family or families of the preacher or preachers 
of the circuit or station, which estimate shall be sub- 
ject to the action of the quarterly conference. (See 
Part iii, ch. iii, § 2, art. 6, page 180.) 

" 3. To take cognizance of all the local preachers 
in the circuit or station, and to inquire into the gifts, 
labours, and usefulness, of each preacher by name ; to 
license proper persons to preach, and renew their 
license annually, when in the judgment of said con- 
ference their gifts, grace, and usefulness, will warrant 
such renewal; to recommend to the annual confer- 
ence suitable candidates in the local connection for 
deacons' or elders' orders, and for admission on trial 
in the travelling connection ; and to try, suspend, expel, 
or acquit any local preacher in the circuit or station 
against whom charges may be brought. Provided, 
that no person shall be licensed to preach without the 
recommendation of the society of which he is a mem- 



122 Of the Quarterly Conferences. [Ch. 1. 

ber, or of a leaders' meeting ; nor shall any one be 
licensed to preach, or recommended lo the Annual 
Conference to travel, or for ordination, without first 
being examined in the Quarterly Conference on the 
subject of doctrines and discipline. (See § 6, p. 49, 
and § 18, p. 75.) 

" 4. To appoint Stewards, the preacher in charge 
having the right to nominate, (see Part iii, ch. iii, § 4, 
quest. 2, p. 183, and quest. 4, p. 184 ;) and to examine 
the characters of exhorters annually, and recommend 
them, if approved, for renewal of license. (See Pari i, 
ch. iv, § 11, quest. 2, ansvv. 13, p. 62.) 

" 5. To appoint District Stewards as provided for in 
Part iii, ch. iii, § 2, answ. 2, p. 181, and a Parsonage 
Committee, if necessary. (See Part iii, ch. iii, § 6, 
answ. 3, p. 189.) 

" 6. To appoint a Missionary Committee, as pro 
vided for in Part iii, ch. iv, art. 4, p. 191. 

" 7. To receive the annual reports of Trustees, as 
provided for in Part iii, ch. ii, § 3, art. 6, p. 177." 

1806. Answer 8 to Question 4 is thus re- 
vised : — " Each quarterly conference shall have super- 
vision of all the Sunday schools and Sunday-school 
societies within its bounds, which schools and societies 
shall be auxiliary to the Sunday-School Union of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church ; and each annual 
conference shall report to said Union the number of 
auxiliaries within its bounds, together with other facts 
presented in the annual reports of the preachers as 
above directed." 



Sec. 4.] Bishops, and their Duty. 123 



SECTION IV. 

Of tlie. Election and Consecration of Bishops, and of 
their Duty* 

1784. At the organization of the church ihe fol- 
lowing provisions were introduced respecting the super- 
intend en cy : — 

" Quest. 26. What is the office of a superintendent? 

" Ans. To ordain superintendents, elders, and dea- 
cons ; to preside as a moderator in our conferences ; to 
fix the appointments of the preachers for the several 
circuits ; and, in the intervals of the conference, to 
change, receive, or suspend preachers, as necessity 
may require ; and to receive appeals from the preachers 
and people, and decide them. 

" N. B. No person shall be ordained a superintend- 
ent, elder, or deacon, without the consent of a majority 
of the conference, and the consent and imposition of 
hands of a superintendent ; except in the instance pro- 
vided for in the twenty-ninth minute. 

" Quest. 27. To whom is the superintendent amena- 
ble for his conduct ? 

" Ans. To the conference ; who have power to ex- 
pel him for improper conduct, if they see it necessary. 

" Quest. 28. If the superintendent ceases from travel- 
ling at large among the people, shall he exercise his 
office in any degree ? 

" Ans. If he ceases from travelling without the con- 
sent of the conference, he shall not thereafter exercise 
any ministerial function whatsoever in our church. 

" Quest. 29. If by death, expulsion, or otherwise, 
there be no superintendent remaining in our church, 
what shall we do ? 



3 Prior to the organization of the church, the superintendence of the 
societies was committed to the general assistant. In 1779 we find the 
following minute as to his authority: — 

" Quest. 13. How far shall his power extend? 

"Ans. On hearing every preacher for and against what is in debate, 
the right of determination shall rest with him according to the Minutes." 



124 Bishops, and their Duty. [Ck. 1. 

" Ans. The conference shall elect a superintendent, 
and the elders or any three of them shall ordain him, 
according to our Liturgy." 

17 87. This subject was treated in the fourth 
section, entitled, " On the constituting of Bishops, and 
their Duty." 

The following was substituted for the " N. B.," 
1784:— 

" Quest. 2. How is a bishop to be constituted in 
future ? 

" Ans. By the election of a majority of the confer- 
ence, and the laying on of the hands of a bishop and 
the elders present." 

The following is added to the duties of a bishop, 
(Question 26, 1784): — "To travel through as many 
circuits as he can, and to settle all the spiritual business 
of the societies ;" and he was now deprived of the 
power " to receive appeals from the preachers and 
people, and to decide them." 

The clause, " To ordain superintendents, elders, and 
deacons," was omitted. 

Question 29, (1784,) struck out. 

1789. In the duties of bishops, the words, "To 
ordain superintendents, elders, and deacons," omitted 
in 1787, were restored. 

1793. The section took the place and the title 
which it now holds, and read as follows : — 

" Quest. 1. How is a bishop to be constituted in 
future ? 

" Ans. By the election of the General Conference, 
and the laying on of the hands of three bishops, or at 
least of one bishop and two elders. 

" Quest. 2. If by death, expulsion, or otherwise, 
there be no bishop remaining in our church, what shall 
we do? 

" Ans. The General Conference shall elect a bishop; 
and the elders, or any three of them, that shall be ap- 
pointed by the General Conference for that purpose, 
shall ordain him according to our office of ordination. 



Sec 4.] Biskpps, and their Duty. 125 

" Quest. 3. What is the bishop's duty? 

li Ans. 1. To preside in our conferences. 

" 2. To fix the appointments of the preachers for the 
several circuits. 

" 3. In the intervals of the conferences to change, 
receive, or suspend preachers, as necessity may re- 
quire. 

" 4. To travel through the connection at large. 

" 5. To oversee the spiritual and temporal business 
of the societies. 

" 6. To ordain bishops, elders, and deacons. 

" Quest. 4. To whom is the bishop amenable for 
his conduct ? 

" Ans. To the General Conference, who have power 
to expel him for improper conduct, if they see it 
necessary. 

" Quest. 5. What provision shall be made for the 
trial of an immoral bishop, in the interval of the Gen- 
eral Conference ? 

" Ans. If a bishop be guilty of an immorality, three 
travelling elders shall call upon him, and examine him 
on the subject : and if the three elders verily believe 
that the bishop is guilty of the crime, they shall call to 
their aid two presiding elders from two districts in the 
neighborhood of that where the crime was committed, 
each of which presiding elders shall bring with him 
two elders, or an elder -and a deacon. The above- 
mentioned nine persons shall form a conference, to 
examine the charge brought against the bishop ; and 
if two-thirds of them verily believe him to be guilty of 
the crime laid to his charge, they shall have authority 
to suspend the bishop till the ensuing General Con- 
ference, and the districts shall be regulated in the mean 
time as is provided in the case of the death of a bishop. 

"Quest. 6. If the bishop cease from travelling at 
large among the people, shall he still exercise his office 
among us in any degree ? 

" Ans. If he cease from travelling without the con- 
sent of the General Conference, he shall not thereafter 

9 



126 Bishops, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

exercise any ministerial function whatsoever in our 
church." 

[Here follows a note about ordaining local preachers 
to the office of deacons, for which see Section 21.] 

1 804. To the second of the bishop's duties 
(Question 3) is added this clause : " Provided he shall 
not allow any preacher to remain in the same station 
more than two years successively;* excepting the pre- 
siding elders, the editor and general book steward, the 
assistant editor and general book steward, the super- 
numerary, superannuated, and worn-out preachers." 
To the third is added, " and as the Discipline directs." 

In the answer to Question 5 the word "guilty," in the 
first line, is changed to " accused," and the following 
clause is added at the close : — " But no accusation 
shall be received against a bishop except it be delivered 
in writing, signed by those^vho are to prove the crime : 
and a copy of the accusation shall be given to the 
accused bishop." 

In Question 6 "office" is changed to "Episcopal 
office," and " any ministerial function whatsoever," to 
" the Episcopal office." 

The exceptions to the rule (1804) requiring - a bishop 
not to appoint a preacher to the same station more 
than two years successively, have been enlarged and 
modified from time to time, as follows : — 

1 8^0. The following were added to the excepted 
cases : — 

" Missionaries among the Indians, and the presi 
dents, principals, or teachers of seminaries of learning, 
which are or may be under our superintendence." 

18^8. The following :—" The editor of the 
Christian Advocate and Journal," " those preachers 
that may be appointed to labour for the special benefit 

° Originally the preachers changed, sometimes every quarter, and at 
all events every six months, (see p. 11,) and, as late as 1794, we find, in 
the Annual Minutes, this note : " N. B. The bishop and conferences de- 
sire that the preachers would generally change every six months, by 
the order of the presiding elder, whenever it can be made convenient. ' 



Sec. 4.] Bishops, and their Duty. 3 27 

of seamen ; also the preacher or preachers that may 
be stationed in the city of New-Orleans." 

1833. The following: — "The general editor, 
the assistant editor of the Christian Advocate and 
Journal," " missionaries to our people of colour and on 
foreign stations," " and also when requested by an 
annual conference to appoint a preacher for more 
than two years to any seminary of learning not under 
our care." 

18311. The following: — "The resident corre- 
sponding secretary, editors and agents at Cincinnati ;" 
and, at the close, is added, " He shall have authority, 
when requested by an annual conference, to appoint 
an agent, whose duty it shall be to travel throughout 
the bounds of such conference, for the purpose of 
establishing and aiding Sabbath schools, and distributing 
tracts." 

1840. The following: — "The corresponding 
secretaries ;" those appointed to labour for the special 
benefit " of prisoners in public prisons, military posts, 
and the American Bible Society."* At the close is 
added, " And also to appoint an agent or agents for the 
benefit of our literary institutions." 

In 1840, also, the two following were added to the 
duties of a bishop, (Question 3.) 

" 7. To decide all questions of law in an annual 
conference, subject to an appeal to the General Con- 
ference ; but in all cases the application of law shall 
be with the conference. 

" 8. The bishops may, when they judge it necessary, 
unite two or more circuits or stations together, without 
affecting their separate financial interests or pastoral 
duties." 

° The awkward form of expression in this clause may be explained 
"by the fact, that the first 24mo. edition for 1840 omitted to notice the 
provision for the appointment of agents for the American Bible Society, 
and simply inserted, "chaplains to state prisons and military posts." 
The mistake was not discovered until the plates for the entire work 
had been cast, and the correction was made as above, in order not to 
overrun the page. 



128 Bishops, and their Duly. [Ch. 1. 

1844. The following additional proviso is added 
respecting the appointment of the preachers: — "Pro- 
vided, also, that with the exceptions above named, he 
shall not continue a preacher in the same appointment 
more than two years in six, nor in the same city more 
than four years in succession, nor return him to it after 
such term of service till he shall have been absent four 
years." 

1 848. In the restrictions on the appointing power, 
the words, " and assistant editor," are struck out. In- 
stead of " corresponding secretaries," The Correspond- 
ing Secretary. Provision is made for retaining the 
editors and agents at Auburn and Pittsburgh. After mis- 
sionaries among the Indians is added, " Welsh, Swedes, 
Norwegians, and other missionaries among foreigners, 
(not including the Germans,) where supplies are diffi- 
cult to be obtained." After military posts is added, 
"naval stations," also to appoint "an agent for the 
German publishing fund," " To point out a course of 
reading and study proper to be pursued by candidates 
for the ministry for the term of four years," " To form 
districts according to their judgment." The provision 
for the trial of a bishop is transferred to Part I, 
chap, viii, sec. 1. 

The sixth question, " Who have been elected by the 
suffrages of the General Conference to exercise the 
episcopal office, and superintend the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in America," is struck out. 

1 806. Chapter iv, Section i, Answer 3 to Ques- 
tion 3, is revised by the addition of the word " Salem" 
after " St. Louis," and the following is stricken out : — 
" Nor in the same city more than four years in succes- 
sion ; nor return him to it, after such term of service, 
till he shall have been absent four years." 



Sec. 5.] Presiding Elders, and their Duty. 129 

section v. 
Of the Presiding Elders, and of their Duty. 

The origin of this office is thus explained by the 
bishops in their Notes to the Discipline of 1796 : — 

" When Mr. Wesley drew up a plan of government 
for our church in America, he desired that no more 
elders should be ordained, in the first instance, than 
were absolutely necessary, and that the work on the 
continent should be divided between them, in respect 
to the duties of their office. The General Conference 
accordingly elected twelve elders for the above pur- 
poses. Bishop Asbury and the district conferences 
afterward found that this order of men was so neces- 
sary, that they agreed to enlarge the number, and give 
them the name* by which they are at present called, 
and which is perfectly Scriptural, though not the word 
used in our translation : and this proceeding afterward 
received the approbation of Mr. Wesley. 

" In 1792 the General Conference, equally conscious 
of the necessity of having such an office among us, not 
only confirmed every thing that Bishop Asbury and the 
district conferences had done, but also drew up or 
agreed to the present section for the explanation of the 
nature and duties of the office." 

As then all elders were, at first, presiding elders, we 
shall notice, under this head, all the rules in reference 
to them prior to 1792, when the distinction was intro- 
duced into the Discipline between "presiding elders" 
and " travelling elders" — a distinction, not of order, but 
of office. 

1 7 84. " Quest. 30. What is the office of an elder ? 

" Ans. To administer the sacraments of baptism and 
the Lord's supper, and to perform all the other rites 
prescribed by our Liturgy." 

" Quest. 35. How are we to proceed with those 
elders or deacons who cease from travelling ? 

° The title does not occur in the Annual Minutes, however, till 1797. 



130 Presiding Elders, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

" Ans. Unless they have the permission of the con- 
ference declared under the hand of a superintendent, 
they are on no account to exercise any of the peculiar 
functions of those offices among us. And if they do, 
they are to be expelled immediately." 

1786. The following added to the duties of an 
elder : — 

" 2. To exercise within his own district, during the 
absence of the superintendents, all the powers invested 
in them for. the government of our church. Provided, 
that he never act contrary to an express order of the 
superintendents." 

1 787. The following section on the subject was 
substituted for the previous provisions : — 

" Sec. V. On the constituting of Elders, and their 
Duty. 

" Quest. 1. How is an elder constituted? 

" Ans. By the election of a majority of the confer- 
ence, and by the laying on of the hands of a bishop 
and of the elders that are present. 

" Quest. 2. What is his duty ? 

"Ans. 1. To travel through his appointed district. 

" 2. To administer baptism and the Lord's supper, 
and to perform all parts of divine service. 

" 3. In the absence of a bishop, to take charge of 
all the deacons, travelling and local preachers, and 
exhorters. 

" 4. To change, receive, or suspend preachers. 

" 5. To direct in the transaction of the spiritual 
business of his circuit. 

"6. To take care that every part of our Discipline 
be enforced. 

" 7. To aid in the public collections. 

" 8. To attend his bishop, when present, and give 
him, when absent, all necessary information, by letter, 
of the state of his district.* 



9 In 1773 it was ordered, " Every preacher who acts as an assistant 
to send an account of the work once in six months to the general assist- 
ant." — Annual Minutes. 



Sec. 5.J Presiding Elders, and their Duty. 131 

" N. B. No elder that ceases to travel, without the 
consent of the conference, certified under the hand of a 
bishop, shall, on any account, exercise the peculiar 
functions of his office among us." 

1T9S. The rules relating to the eldership as an 
order in the church were transferred to a distinct sec- 
tion, and the following section, with its present title, 
was framed, respecting the presiding elders. 

" Quest. 1. By whom are the presiding elders to be 
chosen 1 

" Ans. By the bishop. 

" Quest. 2. What are the duties of the presiding elder? 

" Ans. 1. To travel through his appointed district. 

" 2. In the absence of a bishop, to lake charge of all 
the elders, deacons, travelling and local preachers, and 
exhorters in his district. 

" 3. To change, receive, or suspend preachers in 
his district during the intervals of the conferences, and 
in the absence of a bishop. 

" 4. In the absence of a bishop to preside in the 
conference of his district. 

" 5. To be present, as far as practicable, at all the 
quarterly meetings ; and to call together, at each quar- 
terly meeting, all the travelling and local preachers, 
exhorters, stewards, and leaders of the circuit, to hear 
complaints, and to receive appeals. 

" 6. To oversee the spiritual and temporal business 
of the societies in his district. 

" 7. To take care that every part of our Discipline 
be enforced in his district. 

" 8. To attend the bishop when present in his dis- 
trict ; and to give him when absent all necessary in- 
formation, by letter, of the state of his district. 

" Quest. 3. By whom are the presiding elders to be 
stationed and changed ? 

"Ans. By the bishop. 

" Quest. 4. How long may the bishops allow an 
elder to preside in the same district ? 



132 Presiding Elders, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

" Ans. For any term not exceeding four years sue- 
cessively.* 

" Quest. 5. How shall the presiding elders be sup- 
ported ? 

"Ans. If there be a surplus of the public money in 
one or more circuits in his district, he shall receive 
such surplus, provided he do not receive more than his 
annual salary. In case of a deficiency in his salary, 
after such surplus is paid him, or if there be no -sur- 
plus, he shall share with the preachers of his district, 
in proportion with what they have respectively received, 
so that he receive no more than the amount of his 
salary upon the whole." 

I 804. To the third item of the presiding elder's 
duties (Quest. 2) is added, " as the Discipline directs." 
In the fourth item, the words, " of his district," struck 
out, and the following added, " but in case there are two 
or more presiding elders belonging to one conference, 
the bishop or bishops may, by letter or otherwise, 
appoint the president ; but if no appointment be made, 
or if the presiding elder appointed do not attend, the 
conference shall, in either of these cases, elect the 
president by ballot, without debate, from among the 
presiding elders." 

In the fifth item, after " quarterly meeting," is in- 
serted, " a quarterly meeting conference,! consisting 
of;" after "circuit," the words "and none else ;" and 
after " receive," the words " and try." At the close is 
added, " The quarterly meeting conference shall ap- 
point a secretary to take down the proceedings of the 
quarterly meeting conference, in a book kept by one of 
the stewards of the circuit for that purpose." 

53 This restriction (for originally there was none) is said to have been 
introduced in consequence of the evil results of a more protracted term, 
in the case of James O'Kelly, who had been presiding elder in the 
southern part of Virginia, ever since the organization of the church, 
besides having been stationed there several years before ; and who thus 
acquired a power to injure the church by his secession, which otherwise 
he would not have possessed. 

f The terms " quarterly meeting," " quarterly conference," and " quar- 
terly meeting conference," are frequently used as synonymous. 



Sec. 5.] Presiding Elders, and their Duty. 133 

The following new question was inserted : — 

" Quest. 5. Shall the presiding elder have power to 
employ a preacher who has been rejected at the pre- 
vious annual conference 1 

" Ans. He shall not, unless the conference should 
give him liberty under certain conditions." 

At the close of the answer to Quest. 6, (Quest. 5, 
1792,) is added l he following : " he shall be accounta- 
ble to the annual conference for what he receives as 
his salary." 

18&$£. To the sixth item of the presiding elder's 
duties (Quest. 2, 1792) is added, "and to promote, by 
all proper means, the cause of missions and Sunday 
schools, and the publication, at our own press, of 
Bibles, tracts, and Sunday-school books." 

1 84:©. To the same item is added, " and care- 
fully to inquire, at each quarterly meeting conference, 
whether the rules respecting the instruction of children 
have been faithfully observed." 

To the seventh item is added, " and to decide all 
questions of law' in a quarterly meeting conference, 
subject to an appeal to the president of the next annual 
conference ; but in all cases the application of law 
shall be with the conference." 

1844. To the sixth item of a presiding elder's 
duties is added, "And to report to the annual confer- 
ence the names of all travelling preachers within his 
district, who shall neglect to observe these rules." His 
term of service also is still further restricted, so that 
after the words, " For any term not exceeding four 
years successively," (answer to Question 4, 1792,) is 
added, "After which he shall not be appointed to the 
same district for six years." 

1848. The duties and rights of quarterly con- 
ferences were brought together under a new section, 
and the members made a board of managers auxiliary 
to the Sunday-School Union. 

Question 4 is changed from "the bishops" to "a 



134 Travelling Elders, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

bishop." Among the duties of a presiding elder are 
now enumerated : — 

" To direct the candidates who are admitted on trial, 
to those studies which have been recommended by the 
bishops. 

" To explain to those preachers who are on trial, as 
well as to those who are in future to be proposed for 
trial, that they may be either admitted, or rejected 
without doing them any wrong." 

The question, " How shall the presiding elders be 
supported," is transferred to Part III, ch. iii, sec. 2. 

1 80£$. It is made the duty of presiding elders : — 

" To be present at, as far as practicable, and to 
hold all the quarterly meetings." The words in italics 
have been added. 

The following is also added : — 

"11. If any preacher absent himself from his cir- 
cuit, the presiding elder shall, as far as possible, fill his 
place with another preacher, who shall be paid for his 
labors out of the allowance of the absent preacher, in 
proportion to his usual allowance." 

SECTION VI. 

Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling Elders, 
and of their Duty* 

1793. "Quest. 1. How is an elder constituted? 

"Ans. By the election of a majority of the district 
conference/ and by the laying on of the hands of a 
bishop, and of the elders that are present. 

" Quest. 2. What is the duty of a travelling elder? 

"Ans. 1. To administer baptism and the Lord's 
supper, and to perform the office of matrimony and all 
parts of divine worship. 

" 2. To do all the duties of a travelling preacher. 

" N. B. No elder that ceases to travel without the 
consent of the district conference, certified under the 



° For the rules on this subject prior to 1792, see Sec. 5. 



Sec. *7.] Travelling Deacons, and their Duty. 135 

hand of the president of the conference, shall, on any 
account, exercise the peculiar functions of his office 
among us." 

1804. In the note, after "president of the con- 
ference," is inserted, " except in case of sickness, de- 
bility, or other unavoidable circumstance ;" and, at the 
close, is added, " or even be allowed to preach among 
us ; nevertheless, the final determination in all such 
cases is with the yearly conference." 

SECTION VII. 

Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling Dea- 
cons, and of their Duty. 

17£4. "Quest. 31. What is the office of a 
deacon ? 

"Ans. To baptize in the absence of an elder, to 
assist the elder in the administration of the Lord's 
supper, to marry, bury the dead, and read the Liturgy 
to the people as prescribed, except what relates to the 
administration of the Lord's supper." 

1787. In the place of the above we have the 
following : — 

" Section 6. On the constituting of Deacons, and 
their Duty. 

"Quest. 1. How is a deacon constituted? 

" Ans. By the election of a majority of the confer- 
ence, and the laying on of the hands of a bishop. 

" Quest. 2. What is the duty of a deacon ? 

"Ans. 1. To baptize, and perform the office of 
matrimony, in the absence of the elder. 

" 2. To assist the elder in administering the Lord's 
supper." 

[Here follows a long list of other duties, which were 
afterward transferred to a new section on the duties of 
those who have the charge of circuits. See sec. 10.] 

The following note was added, being a modification 
of the rule of 1784, Quest. 35. (See p. 125.) 

" N. B. No deacon that ceases to travel without the 



136 Travelling Deacons, and their Duty, [Ch. 1. 

consent of the conference, certified under the hand of 
a bishop, shall on any account exercise the peculiar 
functions of his office." 

179SSU This was made the seventh section, with 
the present title. The epithet " travelling" is prefixed 
to " deacon," throughout : and at the close of the sec- 
tion the following is added to the duties of a deacon : — 

" 3. To do all the duties of a travelling preacher." 

179©. The following new question was inserted : 

" Quest. 3. What shall be the time of probation of a 
travelling deacon for the office of an elder ? 

"Am. Every travelling deacon shall exercise that 
office for two years, before he be eligible to the office 
of an elder ; except in the case of missions, when the 
yearly conferences shall have authority to elect Joy the 
elder's office sooner, if they judge it expedient." • 

1804. The same changes made in the note re- 
specting deacons who cease to travel, as in the case of 
elders, (p. 129.) 

18313. The following was added at the close of 
this section : — 

" Provided always, that when a preacher shall have 
passed his examination, and been admitted into full 
connection, and elected to deacon's office, but fails of 
his ordination through the absence of the bishop, his 
eligibility to the office of elder shall run from the time 
of his election to the office of a deacon." 

IS 52, The question and answer relative to the 
probation of a travelling deacon, and the provision for 
his ordination to elders' orders, have been transferred 
from sec. 4, to ch. iv, sec. 3. 

To sec. 4, ch. iv, has been transferred the right 
of an annual conference to elect to deacons' orders 
preachers on trial who have been selected for missions. 
It was formerly in sec. 7. 

Sec. 7. The words " or station" follow of his circuit, 
in ans. 2. 

Sec. 8. At. the close is added : — 

" N. B. A missionary employed on a foreign mis- 



Sec. 8.] Preachers from other Denominations. 137 

sion may be admitted-4nto full connection, if recom- 
mended by the superintendent of the mission where he 
labours, without being present at the annual conference 
for examination." 



SECTION VIII. 

Of the Reception of Preachers from the Wesleyan 
Connection, and from other Denominations. 

This section was inserted in 1840, and is as fol- 
lows : — 

"Quest. 1. In what manner shall we receive those 
ministers who may come to us from the Wesleyan 
connection in Europe or Canada ? 

" Ans. If they come to us properly accredited from 
either the British, Irish, or Canada Conference, they 
may be received according to such credentials, provided 
they give satisfaction to an annual conference of their 
willingness to conform to our church government and 
usages. 

" Quest. 2. How shall w T e receive those ministers 
who may offer to unite with us from other Christian 
churches ? 

11 Ans. Those ministers of other evangelical churches, 
who may desire to unite with our church, whether as 
local or itinerant, may be received according to our 
usages, on condition of their taking upon them our 
ordination vows, without the reimposition of hands, 
giving satisfaction to an annual conference of their being 
in orders, and of their agreement with us in doctrine, 
discipline, government, and usages ; provided the con- 
ference is also satisfied with their gifts, grace, and 
usefulness. Whenever any such minister is received, 
he shall be furnished with a certificate, signed by one 
of our bishops, in the following words, namely : — 

" This is to certify, that * has been admitted 

into conference as a travelling preacher, [or 

has been admitted as a local preacher on cir- 

cuit,] he having been ordained to the office of a deacon, 



138 Receiving Preachers, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

(or an elder, as the case may be,) according to the 
usages of the church, of which he has been 

a member and minister ; and he is hereby authorized 
to exercise the functions pertaining to his office in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, so long as his life and 
conversation are such as become the gospel of Christ. 

" Given under my hand and seal, at this 

day of in the year of our Lord 

" Quest. 3. How shall we receive preachers of other 
denominations who are not in orders ? 

" Arts. They may be received as licentiates, provided 
they give satisfaction to a quarterly, or an annual con- 
ference, that they are suitable persons to exercise the 
office, and of their agreement with the doctrines, dis- 
cipline, government, and usages of our church." 

SECTION IX 

Of the method of receiving Travelling Preachers, and 
of their Duty. 

Quest. 1. How is a preacher to be received? 

1784. " Quest. 36. What method shall we take 
to prevent improper^ persons from preaching among us 
as travelling preachers ?* 

"Arts. Let no person be employed as a travelling 
preacher, unless his name be printed in the Minutes of 
the conference preceding, or a certificate be given him 
under the hand of one or other of the superintendents, 
or, in their absence, of three assistants, as is hereinafter 
provided. And for this purpose, let the Minutes of 
the conference be always printed."! 

1786. For " three assistants, as is hereinafter pro- 
vided," we have " the elder of his district." 



"" In 1780 it was required that all the travelling preachers should take 
a license from every conference, signed by Mr. Asbury. 

In 1782, the more effectually to "guard against disorderly travelling 
preaehers," it was ordered — " Write at the bottom of every certificate : — 
6 The authority this conveys is limited to next conference.' " 

\ They had not been printed previously. — See Lee's History of the 
Methodists, p. 45. 



Sec. 9.] Receiving Preachers, and their Duty. 139 

1787. The following was substituted: — 

" Quest. 1. How is a preacher to be received? 

" Ans. 1. By the conference. 

" 2. In the interval of the conference by the elder, 
until the sitting of the conference. 

" 3. When his name is not printed in the Minutes, 
he must receive a written license from his elder." 

17@S2. "Presiding elder of the district" substi- 
tuted for " elder." 

181@. A new paragraph was inserted as follows : 

" 3. It shall be the duty of the bishops, or of a 
committee which they may appoint, at each annual 
conference, to point out a course of reading and study 
proper to be pursued by candidates for the ministry ; 
and the presiding elder, whenever such are presented to 
him, shall direct them to those studies which have 
been thus recommended. — And before any such can- 
didate is received into full connection, he shall give 
satisfactory evidence respecting his knowledge of those 
particular subjects which have been recommended to 
his consideration." 

1 844. This paragraph was so altered as to ex- 
tend the course of reading and study to four years, and 
is to be prescribed by the bishops alone. 

Quest . 2. What is the duty of a preacher ? 

1784. "Quest. 32. What is the office of a 
helper ? 

" Ans. 1. To preach. 

" 2. To meet the society and the bands weekly.* 

" 3. To visit the sick. 

" 4. To meet the leaders weekly. 

" Let every preacher be particularly exact in this, 
and in morning preaching. If he has twenty hearers, 
let him preach. N. B. We are fully determined never 
to drop morning preaching, and to preach at five wher- 
ever it is practicable." 

° In the Annual Minutes for 1779 we find the following question : 
"Ought not every travelling preneher to meet the class wherever he 
preaches? Ans. Yes, if possible." 



140 Receiving Preachers, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

1786. The morning preaching ordered to be " at 
five in the summer, and at six in the winter, wherever 
it is practicable." 

1787. The second item of a preacher's duty 
reads : " To meet the societies or classes and bands." 
In the fourth, the word " weekly" was struck out, and 
the following was added : " 5. To preach in the morn- 
ing, where he can get hearers." 

1799. Item 4, struck out. 

1 8D4. In item 2, before " bands " was inserted 
" general." The hours of morning preaching were 
now only recommended.* 

Quest. What are the directions given to a preacher ? 

The rules on this subject are found under Quest. 33, 
1 784, and, as there has been little alteration in them since, 
it will be sufficient to refer to them. (See pp. 40-1.) 

1786. The following sentences were struck out 
of the answer ; namely, (item 8,) " You have no more 
to do with this character [that of a gentleman] than 
with that of a dancing master." (9.) " Not of clean- 
ing your own shoes or your neighbour's." 

1787. The question reads as now. The follow- 
ing clauses struck out : (3.) " particularly with young 
women." — (9.) " Not of fetching wood, (if time permit,) 
or drawing water ;" and the note at the end of the 
answer was also omitted. 

1799. In item 5, after, " Believe evil of no one," 
was inserted " without good evidence." In item 8, the 
first sentence was modified so as to read, " Avoid all 
affectation." 



° In 1784 the following was included among the duties of helpers : — 

" Quest. 34. Will it be expedient to appoint some of our helpers to 
read the morning and evening service out of our Liturgy on the Lord's 
day? 

"Ans. It will. And every helper who receives a written direction 
under the hand of a superintendent, may regularly read the morning 
and evening service on the Lord's day. 

In 1789 this was modified so as to read — " Quest. 3. Are the preachers 
to read our Liturgy ? Ans. All that have received a written direction 
for that purpose, under the hand of a bishop or elder, may read the 
Liturgy as often as they think it expedient." 

In 1792 the whole was struck out. 



Sec. 9.] Receiving Preachers, and their Duty. 141 

Quest. 4. What method do we use in receiving a preacher at 
the conference ?* 

1784. The original provisions on this subject 
may be found in the Discipline of 1784, under Ques- 
tion 69. (See pp. 63-4.) By reference to them, the 
alterations they have undergone will be understood 
without quoting them here. 

1787. It was now provided that a preacher may 
be received into full connection, " after two years' pro- 
bation, being recommended by the elder or deacon 
present, and examined by the bishop." The " note of 
permission from the assistant" was now required only 
in the case of local preachers or exhorters. 

1789. The question assumed its present form; 
and the following were left out of the interrogatories to 
be proposed to the candidate, namely : — " Do you 
know the Methodist plan ?" " Do you take no drams ?" 
and, " Will you preach every morning at five o'clock, 
wherever you can have twenty hearers ?" 

179SS. In regard to receiving on trial, it w r as pro- 
vided, " But no one shall be received unless he first 
procure a recommendation from the quarterly meeting 
of his circuit." 

It was now provided that the candidates for admis- 
sion into full connection should be " approved by the 
district [annual] conference, and examined by the presi- 
dent of the conference." 

The rule about licensing local preachers and exhort- 
ers was transferred to the close of the section " On the 
Duties of those who have the Charge of Circuits," and 
the following introduced : — 

" N. B. If any preacher absent himself from his 
circuit without the leave of the presiding elder, the 
presiding elder shall, as far as possible, fTl his place 
with another preacher, who shall be paid for his labours 
out of the salary of the absent preacher, in proportion 
to the usual allowance." 

* This portion of the Discipline has reference, in all the editions, to 
receiving on trial ; but in practice, it is believed, it is always applied to 
admission into full connection. 

10 



142 Receiving Preachers, and their Duty. [Ch. 1. 

1 804. It was provided that the two years' proba- 
tion of a preacher " is to commence from his being 
received on trial at the yearly conference." 

t 8333. The following note was added to the sec- 
tion : — 

" N. B. Whenever a preacher on trial is selected by 
the bishop for a mission, he may, if elected by an 
annual conference, ordain him a deacon before his pro- 
bation ends, and a missionary employed on a foreign 
mission may be admitted into full connection, if recom- 
mended by the superintendent of the mission where he 
labours, without being present at the annual conference 
for examination. 

" At each annual conference, those who are received 
on trial, or are admitted into full connection, shall be 
asked whether they are willing to devote themselves to 
the missionary work; and a list of the names of all those 
who are willing to do so shall be taken and reported to 
the corresponding secretary of the Missionary Society; 
and all such shall be considered as ready and willing to 
be employed as missionaries whenever called for by 
either of the bishops. 

" It shall be the duty of all our missionaries, except 
those who are appointed to labour for the benefit of the 
slaves, to form their circuits into auxiliary missionary 
societies, and to make regular quarterly and class col- 
lections wherever practicable, and report the amount 
collected every three months, either by endorsing it on 
their drafts, or by transmitting the money to the treasurer 
of the parent society. 

" It shall be the duty of each annual conference to 
examine strictly into the state of the domestic missions 
within its bounds, and to allow none to remain on the 
list of its missions which, in the judgment of the con- 
ference, is able to support itself." 

1840. It was now provided that a candidate, 
instead of being received into full connection, " after 
two years' probation," &c, should only be received 
" after he has been employed two successive years in 



Sec. 10.] Of those who have Charge of Circuits. 143 

the regular itinerant work," &c. In the " N. B.," 1792, 
the words, " without the leave of the presiding elder," 
are struck out. 

1848. The words "on trial" are added to the 
title and to the first question. The duties of a preacher 
are transferred to sec. 10. The ceremony of giving a 
probationer the form of Discipline, previous to receiv- 
ing him on trial, is struck out. 

Receiving preachers into full connection, (sec. 8,) 
and rules for a preacher's conduct, (sec. 9,) are parts 
of what was formerly strangely jumbled together in one 
section. The words "into full connection" are added 
to the question. 

1850. Chap. iv. sec. 10, item ii, of prudential 
means, the words " or bands. " are stricken out. Item iii, 
the phraseology, " Also leaders and bands," is changed 
to " and their leaders." 

section x. 
Of the Duties of those who have the charge of Circuits. 

This subject was treated, in 1784, under the Ques- 
tions 60, 61, and 62 : and, in 1789, under the duties of 
a deacon, In 1792 it was made a distinct section with 
its present title and number. The duties will be taken 
up one by one. 

Quest. 1. What are the duties of the elder, deacon, or preacher 
who has the special charge of a circuit ? 

1. 1784. ",To see that the other preachers in 
his circuit behave well and want nothing." 

2. 1784. "To renew the tickets quarterly and 
regulate the bands." 

1 830. After " tickets" was inserted " for the ad- 
mission of members into love-feast." 

3. 1793. "To meet the stewards and leaders 
as often as possible." 

4. 1784. "To appoint all the stewards and 
leaders, and change them when he sees it necessary." 



144 Of the Duties of those ivho have the [Ch. 1. 

18 19. The power to appoint stewards taken 
away. 

5. 1 799. " To receive, try, and expel members, 
according to the form of Discipline."* 

6. 1784. "To keep watch-nights and love- 
feasts." 

7. 1784. "To hold quarterly meetings, and 
therein diligently to inquire both into the temporal and 
spiritual state of each society." 

1799. It was changed so as to read, "To hold 
quarterly meetings in the absence of the presiding 
elder." 

8. 178 4. "To take care that every society be 
duly supplied with books : particularly with Kempis, 
the Instructions for Children, and the Primitive Physic, 
which ought to be in every house." 

1799. All after " with books," struck out. 

9. 17 84. " To take exact lists of his societies, 
and bring them to the conference." 

1787. It reads, "To take an exact account 
of the numbers in society, and bring it to the con- 
ference." 

1 80®. It was, " To take an exact account of the 
numbers in society, and a regular account of all the 
deaths in the societies, in their respective circuits, and 
deliver in such accounts to the annual conference, that 
they may be printed in the Minutes." 

1 83©. It was altered so as to read, " To take an 
exact account of the members in society in their re- 
spective circuits and stations, keeping the names of all 
local elders, deacons, and preachers, properly distin- 
guished, and deliver in such account to the annual 
conference, that their number may be printed in the 
Minutes." 

10. 1784. "To send an account of his circuit 
every half year to one of the superintendents." 



* This was a substitute for the original rule, which was struck out in 
1789, namely : — " To take in or put out of the society or the bands." 



Sec. 10.] Charge of Circuits. 145 

1787. It was to be done "every quarter to his 
elder." 

11. 1784. "To meet the married men and 
women, and the single men and women, in the large 
societies, once a quarter." 

1787. It reads, "To meet the men and women 
apart, in the large societies, once a quarter." 

1793. "Wherever it is practicable," is added. 

12. 1 7 84. "To overlook the accounts of all the 
stewards." 

13. 1787. " To appoint a person to receive the 
quarterly collection in the classes, and to be present at 
the time of receiving it."* 

1793. All after "classes" struck out. 

14. 1787. "To see that public collections be 
made quarterly, if need be." 

15. 1833. "To encourage the support of mis- 
sions and Sunday schools, and the publication and dis- 
tribution of Bibles, tracts, and Sunday-school books, by 
forming societies and making collections for these 
objects, in such way and manner as the annual con- 
ference to which he belongs shall from time to time 
direct." 

16. 1833. "To lay before the quarterly con- 
ference, at its last meeting annually, to be entered on 
its journal, a written statement of the number and state 
of the Sunday schools in the circuit or station, and to 
report the same, together with the amount raised for 
the support of missions, and for the publication of 
Bibles, tracts, and Sunday-school books, to his annual 
conference." 

1840. For "at its last meeting annually," we 
have "at each quarterly meeting, as far as practi- 
cable." 

17. 1787. "To move a yearly subscription 
through those circuits that can bear it, for building 
churches." 

* For the previous usage see Quest. 79, 1784, p. 76. 



146 Of the Duties of those who have the [Ch. 1. 

1799. It is added, "and paying the debts of 
those which have been already erected." 

18. 1787. "To choose a committee of lay 
members to make a just application of the money 
where it is most needed." 

1848. It is now made their duty "to take an 
exact account of the probationers" as well as of the 
members in society. 

The following is added : — 

" If the Annual Conference to which he belongs 
should not give any directions on the subject, to take 
up a collection in the course of the year, or raise a 
subscription, as he may judge expedient, the proceeds 
of which shall be at his disposal in the purchase and 
distribution of tracts." 

It is his duty to report the number and state of the 
Sunday schools to his annual conference, " according 
to the form published by the Sunday-School Union of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church." 

The duty of reporting the amount raised for Sun- 
day-school books is struck out. It is made a duty, 
also, 

" To take an annual collection in each of his ap- 
pointments, in behalf of the Sunday-School Union." 
Quest. 2, 7. The wording of the " note of rec- 
ommendation," which formerly was : " A. B., the 
bearer, has been an acceptable member of our 
Church in C," is now, " of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church." 

The four answers to the question, What can 
be done to supply the circuits during the sittings 
of the Conferences ? which were formerly an entire 
section, (20 of ch. i,) are now appended to this 
chapter. 

Quest. 2. What other directions shall we give him ? 

1. 1784. "Several, 1. Take a regular catalogue 
of your societies as they live in house-row." 

1787. This was to be done in "the societies in 
towns and cities." 



Sec. 10.] Charge of Circuits. 147 

1799. This, as well as the subsequent answers, 
put into the infinitive form instead of the imperative. 

2. 1784:. "Leave your successor a particular 
account of the state of the circuit." 

1839. It is added, "including an account of the 
subscribers for our periodicals." 

3. 1784. " See that every band leader have the 
rules of the bands." 

4. 17 84. "Vigorously but calmly enforce the 
rules concerning needless ornaments and drams." 

1709. This was to be done in reference to " all 
the rules of the society." 

5. 1784. "As soon as there are four men or 
women believers in any place, put them into a band." 

6. 1784. " Suffer no love-feast to last above an 
hour and a half." 

7. 1784. "Warn all from time to time, that 
none are to remove from one society to another, with- 
out a certificate from the assistant, in these words, (else 
he will not be received in other societies,) 'A. B., the 
bearer, is a member of our society in C. I believe he 
has sufficient cause for removing.' "* 

1787. It reads, "Warn all from time to time, 
that none are to remove from one circuit to another 
without a note of recommendation from the elder or 
deacon, in these words : — 'A. B., the bearer, has been 
an acceptable member of our society in C.,' and inform 
them, that without such a certificate, they will not be 
received into other societies." 

1799. The note was to be " from a preacher of 
the circuit." 

8. 1784. "Everywhere recommend decency 
and cleanliness." 

9. 1784. " Read the rules of the society, with 
the aid of your helpers, once a year in every congrega- 
tion, and once a quarter in every society." 

* It had been ordered by the annual conference in 1782, " Let no 
person remove from north to south without a certificate from the as- 
sistant preacher ; and let no one be received into society without." 



148 Of the Duty of those who have the [Ch. 1. 

10. This contains , several provisions: first, about 
arbitrations. 

1784. " Quest. 62. Are there any directions to 
be given the assistant concerning the decision of dis- 
putes among the people ? 

" Ans. On any dispute of importance, or difficult to 
be settled, let the assistant inquire into the circum- 
stances, and having consulted the stewards and leaders, 
appoint referees, whose decision shall be final, and the 
party expelled that refuses to abide by it ; unless there 
appear to the assistant some fraud or gross mistake in 
the decision, in which case he shall appoint new referees, 
for a rehearing of the cause, whose decision shall be 
absolutely final."* 

1787. The following was substituted : — 

" On any dispute between two or more of the 
members of our society, which cannot be settled by the 
parties concerned, the deacon shall inquire into the 
circumstances of the case, and having consulted the' 
stewards and leaders, shall, if agreeable' to their advice, 
recommend to the contending parties a reference, con- 
sisting of one arbiter chosen by the plaintiff, and an- 
other by the defendant ; which two arbiters, so chosen, 
shall nominate a third, (the three arbiters being members 
of our society,) and the decision of any two of them 
shall be final. But if either of the parties refuse to 
abide by such decision, he shall be immediately expelled. 

"N. B. If any member of our society enter into a 
lawsuit with another member before these measures 
are taken, he shall be expelled." 

1799. The dispute in question is stated to be 
" concerning the payment of debts or otherwise ;" and 
the subject is committed to " the preacher who has the 
charge of the circuit," instead of " the deacon." For 
the note the following paragraph was substituted: — 
" And if any member of our society shall refuse, in 
cases of debt or other disputes, to refer the matter to 



A similar rule had been adopted in 1781. See pp. 17, 18. 



Sec. 10.] Charge of Circuits. 149 

arbitration, when recommended by him who has the 
charge of the circuit, with the approbation of the stew- 
ards and leaders, or shall enter into a lawsuit with 
another member before these measures are taken, he 
shall be expelled." 

179©. It was provided that the decision of the 
arbiters should not be final, as before ; " But if one 
of the parties be dissatisfied with the judgment given, 
such party may apply to the ensuing quarterly meet- 
ing of the circuit, for allowance to have a second 
arbitration appointed ; and if the quarterly meet- 
ing see sufficient reason, they shall grant a second 
arbitration ; in which case each party shall choose two 
arbiters, and the four arbiters shall choose a fifth, the 
judgment of the majority of whom shall be final ; and 
any party refusing to abide by such judgment, shall be 
excluded the society." 

1808. The clauses directing the preacher to 
consult the stewards and leaders about the arbitration, 
struck out. To the paragraph (1792) relating to those 
who enter into a lawsuit before arbitration, the following 
clause was added : " excepting the case be of suc£t a 
nature as to require. and justify a process at law." 

The second part of Answer 10 relates to insolvencies, 
&c, and was originally as follows : — 

1784. " Quest. 25. What shall we do to prevent 
scandal, when any of our members becomes a bankrupt ? 

" Ans. Let the assistant talk with him at large. 
And if he has not kept fair accounts, let him be expelled 
immediately." 

It has since undergone the following changes : — 

1787. The provision on this subject was placed 
in the section about " Visiting from House to House, 
&c," and was as follows : — 

" Quest. 4. What shall we do to prevent scandal y 
when any of our members fail in business, or contract 
debts which they are not able to pay ? 

" Ans. Let the elder or deacon desire two or three 
judicious members of the society to inspect the ac« 



150 Of the Duty of those who have the [Ch. 1. 

counts of the supposed delinquents ; and if they have 
behaved dishonestly, or borrowed money without a pro- 
bability of paying, let them be suspended until their 
credit is restored." 

1796*. The following additional provision on the 
subject was introduced into the section on " The Duties 
of those who have Charge of Circuits." 

" The preachers who have the oversight of circuits 
are required to execute all our rules fully and strenu- 
ously against all frauds, and particularly agaii st dis- 
honest insolvencies ; suffering none to remain in our 
society, on any account, who are found guilty of any 
fraud." 

1 800. The question and answer, which had 
been inserted in the section on " Visiting, &c," were 
combined into one paragraph and transferred to this sec- 
tion, as follows : — " To prevent scandal, when any of 
our members fail in business, or contract debts which 
they are not able to pay, let two or three judicious mem- 
bers of the society inspect the accounts of the supposed 
delinquent, and if he have behaved dishonestly, or bor- 
rowed money without a probability of paying, let him 
be expelled." 

1 833. After " inspect accounts," in the preceding 
paragraph, was added, " contracts and circumstances 
of the case." 

The third part of. Answer 10 relates to the noii-pay- 
ment of debts. It was added in 

1813. "Whenever a complaint is made against 
any member of our church for non-payment of debt ; 
when the accounts are adjusted, and the amount ascer- 
tained, the preacher having the charge shall call the 
debtor before a committee of at least three, to show 
cause why he does not make payment. The committee 
shall determine what further time shall be granted him 
for payment, and what security, if any, shall be given 
for payment, and in case the debtor refuse to comply, 
he shall be expelled ; but in such case he may appeal 
to the quarterly meeting conference, and their decision 



Sec. 10.] Charge of Circuits. 151 

shall be final. And in case the creditor complains that 
justice is not done him, he may lay his grievance be- 
fore the quarterly meeting conference, and their decision 
shall be final ; and if the creditor refuse to comply he 
shall be expelled." 

11. 1787. (Sec. 17.) "Wherever you can, in 
large societies, appoint prayer meetings." 

1792. " The preacher who has the charge of a 
circuit, shall appoint prayer meetings wherever he can, 
in his circuit." 

12. 1787. (Sec. 17.) " Let a fast be published at 
every quarterly meeting, for the Friday following ; and 
a memorandum of it be written on all the class papers."* 

1792. The fast to be " on the Friday preceding 
every quarterly meeting." 

13. 1784. " Meantime let none preach or exhort 
in any of our societies without a note of permission 
from the assistant. Let every preacher or exhorter 
take care to have this renewed yearly ; and. let every 
assistant insist upon it."t 

1787. For "none," we have, "none who are 
local ;" for " preacher," " local preacher;" and for "as- 
sistant," where it first occurs, "deacon," and in the 
second, " elder." 

1792. The whole was remodelled thus, — "He 
shall also take care, that no ordained local preacher or 
exhorter in his circuit shall officiate in public, without 
first obtaining a license from the presiding elder or him- 
self. Let every unordained local preacher and exhorter 
take care to have this renewed yearly ; and let him who 
has the charge of the circuit insist upon it." 

181©. It was altered as follows: — " To license 
such persons as he may judge proper to officiate as 
exhorters in the church, provided no person shall be so 
licensed without the consent of the leaders' meeting, or 



* A similar rule found in 1780. See p. 15. 

t For the provisions on this subject prior to 1784, see pp. 12, 14, 18. 



152 Of those who have Charge of Circuits. [Ch. 1. 

of the class of which he is a member, where no leaders' 
meeting is held ; and the exhorters so authorized 
shall be subject to the annual examination of character, 
in the quarterly meeting conference, and have their 
license annually renewed by the presiding elder, or the 
preacher having the charge, if approved by the quar- 
terly meeting conference. 

1 8«5£2. The duty relative to examining class- 
leaders is transferred to sec. 11, ch. iv, from ch. v, sec. 3. 
It now reads : — 

" 4. To appoint all the leaders, to change them when 
he sees it necessary, and to examine each of them, 
with all possible exactness, at least once a quarter, con- 
cerning his method of meeting a class." 

12. "To examine" (formerly to overlook) the ac- 
counts of all the stewards. ^ 

The following are added : — 

" 16. To publicly catechise the children in the 
Sunday school, and at special meetings appointed for 
that purpose. It shall also be the duty of each preacher, 
in connection with reporting the Sunday-school sta- 
tistics at each quarterly conference, to state to what 
extent he has publicly or privately catechised the chil- 
dren of his charge. 

"17. To form Bible classes for the larger children 
and youth, and to attend to all the duties prescribed for 
the training of children in Part i, ch. vi, page 85." 

The 10th answer to question 2 of this section is 
transferred to ch. ix, sec. 4, and the N. B., requiring 
the enforcement of our rules against frauds, is trans- 
ferred to this section. 

This is added among the "other directions" given 
to a preacher in charge : — 

"11. Wherever it is practicable, he shall so arrange 
the appointments as to give the local preachers regular 
and systematic employment on the Sabbath." 



Sec. 12.] Of the Method of Preaching. 153 



SECTION XI. 

Of the Trial of those who think they are moved by 
the Holy Ghost to preach. 

This section remains substantially as it was in 1784, 
and therefore it will be sufficient to refer to it under 
question 68, pp. 62-3. 



SECTION XII. 

Of the Matter and Manner of Preaching, and of 
other public Exercises. 

The original of this section may be seen under 
Questions 54, 56, and 55, of 1784. The alterations 
can be understood by referring to them, (pp. 52-3.) 

1787. This was the fifteenth section, with the 
same title as now. Of the " smaller advices," (Quest. 
55,) item 8 was transferred to another section, (see Sec. 
25,) and items 12, 14, and 15, were struck out. But 
the principal alterations have been in item 9, namely, 
" Print nothing without the approbation of one or other 
of the superintendents." In 1789 it was, "Print 
nothing without the approbation of the conference and 
one of the bishops." Its subsequent modifications have 
been as follows : — 

1792. "Print nothing without the approbation 
of the conference, or of one of the bishops." 

1 800, " Do not print or circulate any books or 
pamphlets, without the consent of the conference ; ex- 
cepting as an agent or assistant to the superintendent 
of the Book Concern." 

1 804:. " It is recommended to the yearly con- 
ferences to caution and restrict our preachers from 
improper publications." 

1812. This direction was transferred to Part ii. 
(See sec. 8.) 



154 Of the Duty of Preachers. [Ch. 1. 

1848. The " smaller advices" formerly attached 
to this section are transferred to section 9. 



SECTION XIII. 

Of the Duty of Preachers to God, themselves, and 
one another. 

The original of this section may be found in the 
Discipline of 1784, under Questions 59 and 66. (See 
pp. 55, 60-2.) It has undergone no material altera- 
tion since then ; and none of any kind since 1792. 



SECTION XIV. 

Rules by which xoe should continue or desist from 
Preaching at any Place. 

The original of this section may be found in the 
first Discipline, under Questions 6, 7, and 10. The 
intervening questions, 8 and 9, about field preaching, 
were left out in 1787. 



SECTION xv. 

Of visiting from House to House, guarding against 
those Things that are so common to Professors, and 
enforcing practical Religion. 

The original of this section may be found in the 
Discipline of 1784, in the answer to Quest. 15, part 
of the answer to Quest. 51, (from, " Then you will 
have, &c," to "in justification,") and the answers to 
Questions 52 and 24. (See pp. 30, 50-2, 37-8.) The 
only material alterations which have been made in it 
are the following : — 

IT 87. The first item (p 30) of the answer to 



Sec. 16.] Of the Instruction of Children. 155 

Quest. 15 (Quest. 1, 1840) omitted, as also, from the 
same answer, the following clause : — " Particularly in 
selling horses ? Write him knave that does not. And 
the Methodist knave is the worst of all knaves." In 
the paragraph beginning, " The sum is, &c.," (p. 50,) 
the words, " if they belong to us," struck out. 

From the answer to Quest. 52 (p. 51) the questions 
relating to the hour of private prayer were struck out. 

From the answer (p. 38) to Quest. 24 (Quest. 3, 
1840) " smuggling" struck out. 

1792. The following clause was added to this 
last answer : — " And strongly advise our people to 
discountenance all treats given by candidates before or 
at elections, and not to be partakers in any respect of 
such iniquitous practices." 

SECTION XVI. 

Of the Instruction of Children. 

The original of this section was as follows : — 
1784. "(Quest. 51.) But what shall we do for 
the rising generation?* Who will labour for them? 
Let him who is zealous for God and the souls of men 
begin now. 1. Where there are ten children whose 
parents are in society, meet them at least an hour every 
week : 2. Talk with them every time you see any at 
home : 3. Pray in earnest for them : 4. Diligently in- 
struct and vehemently exhort all parents at their own 
houses : 5. Preach expressly on education. ' But I 
have no gift for this.' Gift or no gift, you are to do 
it ; else you are not called to be a Methodist preacher: 
do it as you can, till you can do it as you would. Pray 
earnestly for the gift, and use the means for it." 

1787. The following alterations and additions 
were made : — In regard to meeting the children, " at 

* In the Annual Minutes for 1779 we find the following provision 
on the same subject: — "Quest. 11. What shall be done- with the 
children? Ans. Meet them once a fortnight, and examine the 
parents with regard to their conduct toward them." 



156 Of the Instruction of Children. [Ch. 1. 

least an hour every week," was altered to "an hour 
once a week ; but where this is impracticable, meet 
them once in two weeks." The following new items 
were inserted : — " Procure our ' Instructions' for them, 
and let all who can, read and commit them to memory. 
Explain and impress them upon their hearts." " Let 
the elders, deacons, and preachers take a list of the 
names of the children : and if any of them be truly 
awakened, let them be admitted into society."* 

1789. The following clause omitted : — " Gift or 
no gift, you are to do it ; or else you are not called to 
be a Methodist preacher. Do it as you can, till you 
can do it as you would." 

179©. No alterations were made in the section, 
but the bishops, in their Notes, earnestly urge the 
" people in the cities, towns, and villages," to " esta 
blish sabbath schools, wherever practicable, for the 
benefit of the children of the poor." 

ISSJr. For the former rule, (1789,) beginning, 
" Let the elders, &c.," the following was substi- 
tuted : — 

" As far as practicable, it shall be the duty of every 
preacher of a circuit or station to obtain the names of 
the children belonging to his congregations, to form 
them into classes, for the purpose of giving them reli- 
gious instruction, to instruct them regularly himself, as 
much as his other duties will allow, to appoint a suit- 
able leader for each class, who shall instruct them in 
his absence, and to leave his successor a correct ac- 
count of each class thus formed, with the name of its 
leader." 

1828. In the above rule of 1824, the following 



* A fuller provision on the same subject had been made in the 
Annual Minutes for 1787, as follows : — " Quest. 20. What can we 
do for the rising generation? Arts. Let the elders, deacons, and 
helpers class the children of our friends in proper classes, as far as 
it is practicable ; meet them as often as possible, and commit them, 
during their absence, into the care of proper persons, who may meet 
them at least weekly ; and if any of them be truly awakened, let 
them be admitted into society." 



Sec. 16.] Of the Instruction of Children. 157 

was inserted as the first duty of the preacher, on this 
subject, " to form Sunday schools." 

1836. In the same rule the following was in- 
serted, respecting the course of instruction : — " The 
course of instruction shall not only embrace the nature 
of experimental religion, but also the nature, design, 
privileges, and obligations of their baptism." And it 
was made the duty of the leader of the children to 
"recommend to the preacher such among them as 
he may think suitable to be received among us on 
trial." 

1 840.* The whole was remodelled as follows : — 

" Quest. What shall we do for the rising genera- 
tion ? 

" Ans. 1. Let Sunday schools be formed in all our 
congregations where ten children can be collected for 
that purpose. And it shall be the special duty of 
preachers having charge of circuits and stations, with 
the aid of the other preachers, to see that this be done ; 
to engage the co-operation of as many of our members 
as they can ; to visit the schools as often as practi- 
cable ; to preach on the subject of Sunday schools and 
religious instruction in each congregation at least once 
in six months ; to lay before the quarterly conference 
at each quarterly meeting, to be entered on its journal, 
a written statement of the number and state of the 
Sunday schools within their respective circuits and 
stations, and to make a report of the same to their 
several annual conferences. Each quarterly confer- 
ence shall be deemed a board of managers, having 
supervision of all the Sunday schools and Sunday- 
school societies within its limits, and shall be auxiliary 
to the Sunday-School Union of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church ; and each annual conference shall report 
to said Union the number of auxiliaries within its bounds, 



* The first copies of the 24mo. edition of the Discipline for this 
year were incorrect in this section. The correct copies may be 
known by having pp. 61-4 in smaller type than the others. 
11 



158 Of the Instruction of Children. [Ch. 1. 

together with other facts presented in the annual re- 
ports of the preachers, as above directed. 

" 2. It is recommended that each annual conference, 
where the general state of the work will allow, request 
the appointment of a special agent, to travel through- 
out its bounds, for the purpose of promoting the inte- 
rests of Sunday-schools ; and his expenses shall be paid 
out of collections which he shall be directed to make, 
or otherwise, as shall be ordered by the conference. 

"3. Let our catechisms be used as extensively as 
possible, both in our Sunday schools and families ; 
and let the preachers faithfully enforce upon parents 
and Sunday-school teachers the great importance of 
instructing children in the doctrines and duties of our 
holy religion. 

"4. It shall be the special duty of the preachers to 
form Bible classes wherever they can, for the instruc- 
tion of larger children and youth ; and where they 
cannot superintend them personally, to appoint suitable 
leaders for that purpose. 

" 5. It shall be the duty of every preacher of a cir- 
cuit or station to obtain the names of the children be- 
longing to his congregations, and leave a list of such 
names for his successor ; and in his pastoral visits he 
shall pay special attention to the children, speak to 
them personally, and kindly, on experimental and prac- 
tical godliness, according to their capacity, pray ear- 
nestly for them, and diligently instruct and exhort all 
parents to dedicate their children to the Lord in bap- 
tism as early as convenient-; and let all baptized chil- 
dren be faithfully instructed in the nature, design, pri- 
vileges, and obligations of their baptism. Those of 
them who are well disposed may be admitted to our 
class meetings and love-feasts, and such as are truly 
serious, and manifest a desire to flee the wrath to come 
shall be advised to join society as probationers." 



Sec. 16.] Of the Instruction of Children. 150 

1 844. " And it is recommended that, in all cases 
where it can be done, our Sunday schools contribute 
to the amount of at least one cent per quarter for each 
teacher and scholar. One half of the amount so col- 
lected in each school shall be appropriated for the pur- 
chase of tracts, to be distributed under the direction 
of the preachers and superintendents, and the other 
half shall be forwarded to the treasurer of the Sunday- 
School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for 
the purposes specified in the Constitution of said 
Union;' 

1§48» The words in italics are struck out in the 
following sentence of Answer 1 : " Each Quarterly 
Conference shall be deemed a board of managers, 
hiiveing supervision." 

The "schools and societies" are now made auxil- 
iary to the Sunday-School Union, and not the Quar- 
terly Conference, as heretofore. The recommend- 
ation that our Sunday schools contribute one cent 
per quarter for each teacher and scholar, is struck 
out. 

1 852* To Answer 3 the following is added : — . 

" Let the preachers also publicly catechise the chil- 
dren in the Sunday school, and at special meetings 
appointed for that purpose. It shall also be the duty of 
each preacher, in connection with reporting the Sab- 
bath-school statistics at each quarterly conference, to 
state to what extent he has publicly or privately cate- 
chised the children of his charge." 

1 806. Chapter vi. This whole chapter is re- 
vised as follows : — ■ 

Quest. 1 What shall we do for the moral and re- 
ligious instruction of the children ? 

"■Arts. 1. It shall be the special duty of preachers 
having charge of circuits or stations, with the aid of 
the other preachers, to form Sunday schools in all our 
congregations where ten children can be collected for 
that purpose, and to engage the cooperation of as many 



160 Of the Instruction of Children. ' [Ch. 1. 

of our members as ihey can, to visit the schools as 
often as practicable, to preach on the subject of Sunday 
schools and religious instruction in each congregation 
at least once in six months, and to form Bible classes 
wherever they can for the instruction of larger children 
and youth ; and where they cannot superintend them 
personally, to see that suitable teachers are provided 
for that purpose. 

2. It shall also be the duty of preachers to enforce 
faithfully upon parents and Sunday-school teachers 
the great importance of instructing children in the 
doctrines and duties of our holy religion, to see that 
our catechisms be used as extensively as possible both 
in our Sunday schools and families, to preach to the 
children, and publicly catechise them in the Sunday 
schools and at special meetings appointed for that 
purpose. 

3. It shall be the duty of every preacher in his pas- 
toral visits to pay special attention to the children, 
speaking to them personally and kindly on the sub- 
ject of experimental and practical godliness, accord- 
ing to their capacity, pray earnestly for them, and 
diligently instruct and exhort all parents to dedicate 
their children to the Lord in baptism, as early as con- 
venient. 

4. Each preacher in charge shall lay before the 
quarterly conference, (see Part i, ch. iii, sec. 4, quest. 4, 
ans. 8,) to be entered on its journal, the number 
and state of the Sunday schools and Bible classes 
in his charge, and the extent to which he has preached 
to the children and catechised them, and make the 
required report on Sunday schools to his annual con- 
ference. 

5. It is recommended that each annual conference, 
where the general state of the work will allow, re- 
quest the appointment of a special agent, to travel 
throughout its bounds, for the purpose of promoting 
the interests of Sunday schools ; and his expenses 



Sec. 10.] Of the' Instruction of Children. 161 

shall be paid out of collections which he shall be 
directed to make, or otherwise, as shall be ordered by 
the conference. 

!8a>©. A new section, entitled "Of Baptized 
Children," was inserted. It forms section 3 of chap- 
ter ii, and reads as follows : — 

" Quest. 1. Are all young children entitled to bap- 
tism ? 

" Ans. We hold that all children, by virtue of the un- 
conditional benefits of the atonement, are members of 
the kingdom of God, and, therefore, graciously entitled 
to baptism; but as infant baptism contemplates a course 
of religious instruction and discipline, it is expected of 
all parents or guardians who present their children for 
baptism, that they use all diligence in bringing them up 
in conformity to the word of God, and they should 
be solemnly admonished of this obligation, and earnestly 
exhorted to faithfulness therein. 

" Quest. 2. What is the relation of baptized children 
to the Church ? 

" Ans. We regard all children who have been bap- 
tized, as placed in visible covenant relation to God, 
and under the special care and supervision of the 
Church. 

" Quest. 3. What shall be done for the baptized chil- 
dren of our Church ? 

11 Ans. 1. The preacher in charge shall preserve 
a full and accurate register of the names of all the 
baptized children within his pastoral care ; the dates 
of their birth, baptism, their parentage, and places of 
residence. 

" Ans. 2. As early as they shall be able to understand, 
let them be taught the nature, design, and obligations 
of their baptism, and the truths of religion necessary to 
make them wise unto salvation ; let them be encouraged 
to attend class, and to give regular attendance upon all 
the means of grace, according to their age, capacity, 
and religious experience. 



162 Of the Instruction of Children. [Ch. 1. 

" Ans. 3. Whenever they shall have attained an age 
sufficient to understand the obligations of religion, and 
shall give evidence of a desire to flee from the wrath to 
come, and to be saved from their sins, their names 
shall be enrolled on the list of probationers ; and if they 
shall continue to give evidence of a principle and habit 
of piety, they may be admitted into full membership in 
our Church, on the recommendation of a leader with 
whom they have met at least six months in class, 
by publicly assenting before the Church to the baptis- 
mal covenant, and also the usual questions on doctrines 
and discipline. 

" Ans. 4. Whenever a baptized child shall, by orphan- 
age, or otherwise, become deprived of Christian guar- 
dianship, the preacher in charge shall ascertain and 
report to the leaders' meeting the facts in the case ; 
and such provision shall be made for the Christian 
training of the child, as the circumstances of the case 
admit and require." 



It may be proper here to notice " the Plan of Edu- 
cation," which was inserted in the Discipline from 
1789 to 1796 inclusive. As found in the Discipline 
of 1789 it is given in the following pages. 



Sec. 16.] " The Plan of Education." 163 



"Section XXX. On the Plan of Education established in Cokesbury 
College. 

" The college is built at Abingdon, in Maryland, on a healthy spot, 
enjoying a fine air, and very extensive prospect. It is to receive for 
education and board the sons of the elders and preachers of the Me- 
thodist Church, poor orphans, and the sons of the subscribers, and of 
other friends. It will be expected that all our friends who send their 
children to the college will, if they be able, pay a moderate sum for 
their education and board : the rest will be taught and boarded, and, 
if our finances will allow of it, clothed gratis. The institution is also 
intended for the benefit of our young men who are called to preach, 
that they may receive a measure of that improvement which is highly 
expedient as a preparative for public service. A teacher of the lan- 
guages, with an assistant, will be provided, as also an English master, 
to teach, with the utmost propriety, both to read and speak the Eng- 
lish language : nor shall any other branch of literature be omitted, 
which may be thought necessary for any of the students. Above all, 
especial care shall be taken that due attention be paid to the religion 
and morals of the children, and to the exclusion of all such as con- 
tinue of an ungovernable temper. The college will be under the 
presidentship of the bishops of our church for the time being : and is 
to be supported by yearly collections throughout our circuits, and any 
endowments which our friends may think proper to give and be. 
queath. 

" Three objects of considerable magnitude we have in view in the 
instituting of this college. 

" The first is a provision for the sons of our married ministers and 
preachers. 

" The wisdom and love of God hath now thrust out a large number 
of labourers into his harvest: men who desire nothing on earth but to 
promote the glory of God, by saving their own souls and those that 
hear them. And those to whom they minister spiritual things are 
willing to minister to them of their temporal things ; so that they have 
food to eat, and raiment to put on, and are content therewith. 

" A competent provision is likewise made for the wives of married 
preachers. 

" Yet one considerable difficulty lies on those that have boys, when 
they grow too big to be under their mother's direction. Having no 
father to govern and instruct them, they are exposed to a thousand 
temptations. To remedy this is one motive that induces us to lay 
before our friends the intent of the college, that these little ones may 
have all the instruction they are capable of, together with all things 
necessary for the body. 

" In this view our college will become one of the noblest charities 
that can be conceived. How reasonable is the institution'? Is it fit 
that the children of those who leave wife and all that is dear, to save 
souls from death, should want what is needful either for soul or body ? 
Ought not we to supply what the parent cannot, because of his labours 
in the gospel ? How excellent will be the effect of this institution ? 
The preacher, eased of this weight, can the more cheerfully go on in 



164 " The Plan of Education:' [Ch. 1. 

his labour. And perhaps many of these children may hereafter fill 
up the place of those that shall rest from their labours. 

" The second object we have in view is the education and support 
of poor orphans ; and surely we need not enumerate the many happy 
consequences arising from such a charity. Innumerable blessings 
concenter in it ; not only the immediate relief of the objects of our 
charity, but the ability given them, under the providence of God, to 
provide for themselves through the remainder of their lives. 

" The last, though not perhaps the least, object in view is the esta. 
blishment of a seminary for the children of our competent friends, 
where learning and religion may go hand in hand : where every ad- 
vantage may be obtained which may promote the prosperity of the 
present life, without endangering the morals and religion of the chil- 
dren through those temptations to which they are too much exposed 
in most of the public schools. This is an object of importance indeed : 
and here all the tenderest feelings of a parent's heart range on our 
side. 

" But the expense of such an undertaking will be very large : and 
the best means we could think of at our late conference to accom- 
plish our design was, to desire the assistance of all those in every 
place who wish well to the work of God : who long to see sinners 
converted to God, and the kingdom of Christ set up in all the earth. 

" All who are thus minded, and more especially our own friends 
who form our congregations, have an opportunity now of showing 
their love to the gospel. Now promote, as far as in you lies, one of 
the noblest charities in the world. Now forward, as you are able, 
one of the most excellent designs that ever was set on foot in this 
country. Do what you can to comfort the parents, who give up their 
all for you, and to give their children cause to bless you. You will 
be no poorer for what you do on such an occasion. God is a good 
paymaster. And you know in doing this you lend unto the Lord : 
in due time he shall repay you. 

" The students will be instructed in English, Latin, Greek, logic, 
rhetoric, history, geography, natural philosophy, and astronomy. To 
these languages and sciences shall be added, when the finances of 
our college will admit of it, the Hebrew, French, and German lan- 
guages. 

" But our first object shall be, to answer the design of Christian edu- 
cation, by forming the minds of the youth, through divine aid, to wisdom 
and holiness, by instilling into their tender minds the principles of true 
religion, speculative, experimental, and practical, and training them 
in the ancient way, that they may be rational, Scriptural Christians. 
For this purpose we shall expect and enjoin it, not only on the presi- 
dent and tutors, but also upon our elders, deacons, and preachers, to 
embrace every opportunity of instructing the students in the great 
branches of the Christian religion. 

" And this is one principal reason why we do not admit students 
indiscriminately into our college. For we are persuaded that the pro- 
miscuous admission of all sorts of youth into a seminaiy of learning is . 
pregnant with many bad consequences. For are the students likely 
(suppose they possessed it) to retain much religion in a college whera 



Sec. 16.3 " The Plan of Education" 165 

all that offer are admitted, however corrupted already in principle as 
well as practice ? And what wonder, when (as too frequently it hap- 
pens) the parents themselves have no more religion than their off- 
spring. 

" For the same reason we have consented to receive children of 
seven years of age, as we wish to have the opportunity of ' teaching 
their young ideas how to shoot,' and gradually forming their minds 
through the divine blessing, almost from their infancy, to holiness and 
heavenly wisdom, as well as human learning. And we may add, 
that we are thoroughly convinced, with the great Milton, (to whose 
admirable treatise on education we refer you,) that it is highly expe. 
dient for every youth to begin and finish his education at the same 
place : that nothing can be more irrational and absurd than to break 
this off in the middle, and to begin it again at a different place, and 
perhaps in a quite different manner. And on this account we earn- 
estly desire that the parents, and others who may be concerned, will 
maturely consider the last observation, and not send their children to 
our seminary if they are not to complete their education there, or at 
least make some considerable proficiency in the languages, and in the 
arts and sciences. 

"It is also our particular desire that all who shall be educated in 
our college, may be kept at the utmost distance as from vice in gene- 
ral, so in particular from softness and effeminacy of manners. 

" We shall therefoi-e inflexibly insist on their rising early in the 
morning ; and we are convinced, by constant observation and expe- 
rience, that this is of vast importance both to body and mind. It is 
of admirable use either for preserving a good, or improving a bad, 
constitution. It is of peculiar service in all nervous complaints^ both 
in preventing and in removing them. And by thus strengthening the 
various organs of the body, it enables the mind to put forth its utmost 
exertions. 

" On the same principle we prohibit play in the strongest terms : and 
in this we have the two greatest writers on the subject that perhaps 
any age has produced (Mr. Locke and Mr. Rousseau) of our senti- 
ments : for though the latter was essentially mistaken in his religious 
system, yet his wisdom in other respects, and extensive genius, are 
indisputably acknowledged. The employments, therefore, which we 
have chosen for the recreation of the students are such as are of the 
greatest public utility, agriculture and architecture — studies more espe- 
cially necessary for a new-settled country ; and of consequence the 
instructing of our youth, in all the practical branches of those import, 
ant arts, will be an effectual method of rendering them more useful to 
their country. Agreeably to this idea, the greatest statesman that 
perhaps ever shone in the annals of history, Peter, the Russian em- 
peror, who was deservedly styled the Great, disdained, not to stoop to 
the employment of a ship carpenter. Nor was it rare, during the 
purest times of the Roman republic, to see the conquerors of nations 
and deliverers of their country return with all simplicity and cheerful- 
ness to the exercise of the plough. In conformity to this sentiment 
one of the completest poetic pieces of antiquity (the Georgics of Virgil) 
is written on the subject of husbandry ; by the perusal of which, and 



166 " The Plan of Education:' [Ch. 1. 

submission to the above regulations, the students may delightfully 
unite the theory and the practice together. We say delightfully, for we 
do not entertain the most distant thought of turning these employ, 
ments into drudgery or slavery, but into pleasing recreations for the 
mind and body. 

"In teaching the languages, care shall be taken to read those au 
thors, and those only, who join together the purity, the strength, and 
the elegance of their several tongues. And the utmost caution shall 
be used, that nothing immodest be found in any of our books. 

" But this is not all. We shall take care that our books be not 
only inoffensive, but useful : that they contain as much strong sense 
and as much genuine morality as possible. As far therefore as is con- 
sistent with the foregoing observations, a choice and universal library 
shall be provided for the use of the students. 

" Our annual subscription is intended for the support of the chari- 
table part of the institution. We have in the former part of this ad- 
dress enlarged so fully on the nature and excellency of the charity, 
that no more need be said. The relieving our travelling ministers 
and preachers, by educating, boarding, and clothing their sons, is a cha- 
rity of the most noble and extensive kind, not only toward the imme- 
diate subjects of it, but also toward the public in general; enabling 
those ' flames of fire,' who might otherwise be obliged to confine 
themselves to an exceedingly contracted sphere of action for the sup- 
port of their families, to carry the savour of the gospel to the remotest 
corners of these United States. 

" The four guineas a year for tuition, we are persuaded, cannot be 
lowered, if we give the students that finished education which we are 
determined they shall have. And though our principal object is to 
instruct them in the doctrine, spirit, and practice of Christianity, yet 
we trust that our college will in time send forth men that will be 
blessings to their country in every laudable office and employment of 
life, thereby uniting the two greatest ornaments of intelligent beings, 
which are too often separated, deep learning and genuine religion. 

" The rules and regulations with which you are here presented have 
been weighed and digested in our conference : but we also submit 
them to your judgment, as we shall be truly thankful for your advice, 
as well as your prayers for the success of the college, even where the 
circumstances of things will not render it expedient to you to favour 
us with your charity. And we shall esteem ourselves happy if we 
be favoured with any new light, whether from the members of our 
own church or any other, whereby they may be abridged, enlarged, 
or in any other way improved, that the institution may be as near 
perfection as possible. 

" General Rules concerning the College. 

" I. A president and two tutors shall be provided for the present. 

" II. The students shall consist of 

"First. The sons of travelling preachers. 

" Secondly. The sons of annual subscribers, the children recom- 
mended by those annual subscribers who have none of their own, and 
the sons of members of our society. 



Sec. 16.] " The Plan of Education." 167 

" Thirdly Orphans. But, 

" 1. The sons of the annual subscribers shall have the preference 
to any others, except those of the travelling preachers. 

" 2. An annual subscriber who has no sons of his own shall hav? 
a right to recommend a child ; and such child so recommended shah 
have the preference to any other, except the sons of travelling 
preachers and annual subscribers. 

"3. As many of the students as possible shall be lodged and 
boarded in the town of Abingdon, among our pious friends ; but those 
who cannot be so lodged and boarded, shall be provided for in the 
college. 

" 4. The price of education shall be four guineas. 

" 5. The sons of the travelling preachers shall be boarded, educated, 
and cloihed gratis, except those whose parents, according to the judg- 
ment of the conference, are of ability to defray the expense. 

" 6. The orphans shall be boarded, educated, and clothed gratis. 

"7. No travelling preacher shall have the liberty of keeping hi-s son 
on the foundation any longer than he travels, unless he be superan- 
nuated, or disabled by want of health. 

" 8. No travelling preacher, till he has been received into full con- 
nection, shall have a right to place his son on the foundation of this 
institution. 

" 9. No student shall be received into the college under the age of 
seven years. 

" Rules for the Economy of the College and Students. 

" 1. The students shall rise at five o'clock in the morning, summer 
and winter, at the ringing of the college bell. 

" 2. All the students, whether they lodge in or out of the college, 
shall assemble together in the college at six o'clock, for public prayer, 
except in cases of sickness; and on any omission shall be responsible 
to the president. 

" 3. From morning prayer till seven they shall be allowed to recre- 
ate themselves, as is hereafter directed. 

" 4. At seven they shall breakfast. 

" 5. From eight to twelve they are to be closely kept to their re- 
spective studies. 

"6. From twelve to three they are to employ themselves in recrea 
tion and dining — dinner to be ready atone o'clock. 

" 7. From three to six they are again to be kept closely to theii 
studies. 

" 8. At six they shall sup. 

" 9. At seven there shall be public prayer. 

" 10. From evening prayer till bed-time they shall be allowed re- 
creation. 

"11. They shall all be in bed at nine o'clock, without fail. 

" 12. Their recreations shall be gardening, walking, riding, and 
bathing, without doors ; and the carpenter's, joiner's, cabinet maker's, 
or turner's business, within doors. 

"13. A large plot of land, of at least three acres, shall be appropri- 



168 " The Plan of Education." [Ch. 1. 

ated for a garden, and a person skilled in gardening be appointed to 
overlook the students when employed in that recreation. 

" 14. A convenient bath shall be made for bathing. 

"15. A master, or some proper person by him appointed, shall be 
always present at the time of bathing. Only one shall bathe at a 
time ; and no one shall remain in the water above a minute. 

" 16. No student shall be allowed to bathe in the river. 

" 17. A Taberna Lignaria* shall be provided on the premises, 
with all proper instruments and materials, and a skilful person be 
employed to overlook the students at this recreation. 

" 18. The students shall be indulged with nothing which the world 
calls play. Let this rule be observed with the strictest nicety ; for 
those who play when they are young, will play when they are old. 

" 19. Each student shall have a bed to himself, whether he boards 
in or out of the college. 

" 20. The students shall lie on mattresses, not on feather beds, 
because we believe the mattresses to be more healthy. 

"21. The president and tutors shall strictly examine, from time to 
time, whether our friends who board the students comply with these 
rules as far as concern them. 

" 22. A skilful physician shall be engaged to attend the students 
on every emergency, that the parents may be fully assured that pro. 
per care shall be taken of the health of their children, without any 
expense to them. 

" 23. The bishops shall examine by themselves, or their delegates, 
into the progress of all the students in learning, every half year, or 
oftener, if possible. 

" 24. The elders, deacons, and preachers, as often as they visit 
Abingdon, shall examine the students concerning their knowledge of 
God and religion. 

" 25. The students shall be divided into proper classes for that 
purpose. 

" 26. A pupil who has a total incapacity to attain learning, shall, 
after sufficient trial, be returned to his parents. 

" 27. If a student be convicted of any open sin, he shall, for the 
first offence, be reproved in private ; for the second offence he shall 
be reproved in public ; and for the third offence he shall be punished 
at the discretion of the president: if incorrigible, he shall be expelled. 

"28. But if the sin be exceedingly gross, and a bishop see it neces- 
sary, he may be expelled for the first, second, or third offence. 

" 29. Idleness, or any other fault, may be punished with confine- 
ment, according to the discretion of the president. 

" 30. A convenient room shall be set apart as a place of confine, 
ment. 

" 31. The president shall be the judge of all crimes and punish- 
ments, in the absence of the bishops. 

" 32. But the president shall have no power to expel a studen 
without the advice and consent of three of the trustees : but a bishop 
shall have that power." 



* It is explained, in 1796, as " a place for working- in wood,' 



Sec. 17.] Of employing our Time, etc. 169 

In 1792 the following changes were made : — The price of tuition, 
which had been before four guineas for the year, was altered to eigh- 
teen dollars and two-thirds. The rate of boarding in the college was 
fixed at sixty dollars per annum, which was an increase on what it 
had been before. 

In the " Rules for the Economy of the College and Students," the 
thirty-first and thirty-second were altered to the following : — 

" 31. The president shall be the judge of all crimes and punish- 
ments, in the absence of the bishops and the presiding elder : and, 
with the concurrence of two of the tutors, shall have power to dismiss 
a student, if he judge it highly necessary, for any criminal conduct, or 
for refusing to submit to the discipline of the college, or to such pun- 
ishment as the president and tutors judge he deserves. 

" 32. A committee of five respectable friends, entitled, The Com. 
mittee of Safety, shall be appointed, who shall meet once in every 
fortnight. Three of these meeting at the appointed time shall be 
sufficient to enter upon business, and shall have full powers to inspect 
and regulate the whole economy of the college, and to examine the 
characters and conduct of all the servants, and to fix their wages, and 
change them as they may think proper. The committee shall deter- 
mine every thing by a majority." 

In 1796, Cokesbury College having been previously burnt down, the 
section was considerably modified. It was then entitled, " The Plan of 
Education recommended to all our Seminaries of Learning." The Ad- 
dress to the public was greatly abridged. The " General Rules con- 
cerning the College" are omitted ; as also the twenty-eighth, thirty- 
first, and thirty-second of the " Rules for the Economy of the College 
and Students." The other alterations are not material. 

From this time the interest of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in 
the cause of liberal education, seems for a number of years to have 
gradually declined ; and after 1796 no notice is taken of it in the 
Discipline. As the church has since taken hold of this work with 
greater zeal than ever, it may be a question, whether some provisions 
on the subject might not again, with propriety, be introduced. 



SECTION XVII. 

Of employing our Time profitably, when we are not 
travelling or engaged in public Exercises. 

The original of this section may be fonnd in the Dis- 
cipline of 1784, in the answers to Questions 49 and 50, 
and the first part of the answer to Question 51 — to the 
words, " use of the preachers." (See pp. 48-9.) Il 
has undergone no material alteration. 



1«0 Of Union among ourselves. , [Ch. 1. 

SECTION XVIII. 

Of the Necessity of Union among ourselves. 

The original of this section may be found in the Disci- 
pline of 1784, in the answer to Question 67. (See p. 62,) 
The only material alterations have been the following: — 

1787. This paragraph was prefixed to the section: 
" Let us be deeply sensible (from what we have known) 
of the evil of a division in principle, spirit, or practice, 
and the dreadful consequences to ourselves and others. 
If we are united, what can stand before us ? If we 
divide, we shall destroy ourselves, the work of God, anf 
the souls of our people." 

17iS. The following was added at the close :— 
" We recommend a serious perusal of ' The Causes, 
Evils, and Cures of Heart and Church Divisions.'" 

SECTION XIX. 

Of the Method, by which immoral Travelling Ministers 
or Preachers shall be brought to Trial, found guilty, 
and reproved or suspended in the Intervals of the 
Conferences. 

The only provision on the subject in the first Disci- 
pline was the following : — 

1784. " Quest. 63. Are there any further direc- 
tions needful for the preservation of good order among 
the preachers ? 

" Ans. In the absence of a superintendent, a travel- 
ling preacher or three leaders shall have power to lodge 
a complaint against any preacher in their circuit, 
whether elder, assistant, deacon, or helper, before 
three neighbouring assistants ; who shall meet at an ap- 
pointed time, (proper notice being given to the parties,) 
hear and decide the cause. And authority is given 
them to change or suspend a preacher, if they see it 
necessary, and to appoint another in his place, during 
the absence of the superintendents."* 

* A previous provision on the same subject is found in the Annual 
Minutes for 1784. (See p. 20.) 



Sec. 19.] Of theTrial of Ministers. 1 7 1 

The original of thepresent section was prepared by- 
Bishop Asbury,* an introduced in 1789. It then 
constituted the thirty. hird section, with the same title as 
now, except the word "reproved and suspended^ instead 
of " and reproved oi suspended." The questions will 
be taken up in ordei 

Quest. 1. What shal be done when an elder, deacon, or 
preacher is under repo; of being guilty of some crime, expressly 
forbidden in the word f God, as an unchristian practice, suffi- 
cient to exclude a persn from the kingdom of grace and glory "? 

1789. The ciginal was as follows : — 

" Quest. 1. Wkt shall be done when an elder, 
deacon, or preache, is under the report of being guilty 
of some capital crine, expressly forbidden in the word 
of God, as an unchristian practice, sufficient to exclude 
a person from the kingdom of grace and glory, and to 
make him a subject of wrath and hell ? 

" Ans. Let the presiding elder call as many minis- 
ters to the trial as he shall think fit, at least three, and 
if possible bring tie accused and accuser face to face. 
If the person is cearly convicted, he shall be suspend- 
ed from official services in the church, and not be al- 
lowed the privileges of a member. But if the accused 
be a presiding slder, the preachers must call in the 
presiding elder of the neighbouring district, who is re- 
quired to attend and act as judge. 

" If the persons cannot be brought face to face, but 
the supposed delinquent flees from trial, it shall be re- 
ceived as a presumptive proof of guilt, and out of the 
mouth of two or three witnesses he shall be condemned. 
Nevertheless, h^ may then demand a trial face to face, 
or he may appeal to the next conference in that district." 

1792. Tf/e section took its present title and 
number. In the question, the word " capital" before 
" crime," omitted. It was now provided that only " in 
the absence of a bishop," the presiding elder was to 
summon the committee of trial. The punishment, in 
case of conviction, was now, " he shall be suspended 

* Journal, vol. ii, p. 29. 



172 



Gfthe Trial of Misters. 



[Ch.l. 



from all official services in the chlrch till the ensuing 
district conference, at which his cae shall be fully con 
sidered and determined." " Act a judge," changed to 
"preside at the trial." In the nek paragraph, "per- 
sons" changed to " accused and acliser." And for the 
last sentence, the following is substihted : — "Neverthe- 
less, even in that case the distrtt conference shall 
reconsider the whole matter, and determine." 

1 83©. The following provisia was added : — 
" And if the accused be a supeAnnuated preacher, 
living out of the bounds of the coniVence of which he 
is a member, the presiding elder, hi whose district he 
may reside, shall bring him to trial, Ind in case of sus- 
pension, shall forward to the ensuinglnnual conference, 
of which the accused is a member, exact minutes of 
the charges, testimony, and decisionof the committee 
in the case." 

1 840. All the foregoing claus^ after " of which 
he is a member," was struck out, knd the following 
substituted, — " he shall be held responsible to the an- 
nual conference within whose boundl he may reside, 
who shall have power to try, acquit, suspend, locate, or 
expel him, in the same manner as if hi were a member 
of said conference." 

Quest. 2. What shall be done in cases ojj improper tempers, 
words, or actions 1 

Quest. 3. What shall be done with those ministers or 
preachers who hold and disseminate, public y or privately, doc- 
trines which are contrary to our Articles of Religion 1 

These questions were originally embraced under one 
head, as follows : — 

1789. " Quest. 2. What shall be done in cases 
of improper tempers, words, or actions, or a breach of 
the Articles and Discipline of the church ? 

" Ans. The person so offending shall be reprehended 
by his bishop, elder, deacon, or preacher that has the 
charge of the circuit ; or if he be a bishop, he shall be 
reprehended by the conference. Should a second 
transgression take place, one, two, or three preachers 



Sec. 19.] \ Of the Trial of Ministers. 173 

may be called in ; i not cured then, he shall be tried 
at the quarterly meting by the elder and preachers 
present ; if still incirable, he shall be brought before 
the conference, and if found guilty and impenitent, he 
shall be expelled fnm the connection, and his name so 
returned in the Mimtes. 

" N. B. Any Treacher suspended at a quarterly 
meeting from preaching, shall not resume that employ- 
ment again, but bythe order of the conference. But it 
is to be observed, that a preacher shall be tried by a 
deacon, a deacon i>y an elder, an elder by a presiding 
elder, and a presicing elder by the presiding elder of a 
neighbouring distr.ct." 

1 79S. The^e cases were divided thus : — 

" Quest. 2. What shall be done in case of improper 
tempers, words, cr actions ? 

" Ans. The person so offending shall be reprehended 
by his senior in office. Should a second transgression 
take place, one, two, or three ministers or preachers 
are to be taken as witnesses. If he be not then cured, 
he shall be tried at the conference of his district, [annu- 
al conference] and, if found guilty and impenitent, shall 
be expelled frcm the connection, and his name so 
returned in the Minutes of the conference. 

" Quest. 3. What shall be done with those ministers 
or preachers who hold and preach doctrines which are 
contrary to our Articles of Religion ? 

" Ans. Let the same process be observed as in cases 
of gross immorality : but if the minister or preacher 
so offending do solemnly engage neither to preach nor 
defend such erroneous doctrines in public or in private, 
he shall be borne with till his case be laid before the next 
district conference, which shall determine the matter." 

181©. The question reads as now. "Neither 
to preach nor defend," altered to " not to disseminate." 

Quest. 4. What shall be done with a member of an annual 
conference who conducts himself in a manner which renders 
Mm unacceptable to the people as a travelling preacher 1 

This question and answer remain as first introduced in 
12 



174 



Of the Trial of Ministers. # 



[Ch. 1. 



1836. " Ans. When any rrkmber of an annual 
conference shall be charged with laving so conducted 
himself as to render him unacceptable to the people as 
a travelling preacher, it shall be thl duty of the confer- 
ence to which he belongs to invesigate the case ; and 
if it appear that the complaint is well founded, and he 
do not give the conference satisfaction that he will 
amend or voluntarily retire, they mly locate him with- 
out his consent : provided that he stall be at liberty to 
defend himself before the conferences person or by his 
representative; and if he be located ik his absence with- 
out having been previously notified a an intention thus 
to proceed against him, he may applyto the conference, 



defence, 



in w 



hich 



at its next session, to be heard in his < 

case they shall reconsider the matter for that purpose." 

1848. The trial of a bishop w.s made a distinct 
section, and that for other preacher* (sec. 2) is now 
entitled, " Of the Method of Proceeding against Travel- 
ling Ministers or Preachers," instead of, by which im- 
moral travelling ministers or preachers shall be 
brought to trial, found guilty, and \eproved or sus- 
pended in the intervals of the conferences. The 
mode of proceeding in Answer 1, is (confined to "the 
interval of the annual conference," ana it is now made 
the duty of the presiding elder to "cause a correct 
record of the investigation to be kept 1 and transmitted 
to the annual conference." The following is added : — 

" 2. If the charge be preferred at the conference, 
the case may be referred to a committee, in the pres- 
ence of a presiding elder, or a member appointed by 
the bishop in his stead, who shall cause a faithful record 
of the proceedings and testimony to be laid before the 
conference ; on which, with such other evidence as 
may be admitted, the case shall be decided." 

A new question and answer are also added in the 
words following : — 

" Quest. 3. What shall be done when a member of 
an annual conference fails in business, or contracts 
debts which he is not able to pay ? 



Sec. 19.] Of tk Trial of Ministers. 175 

" Ans. Let the presiding elder appoint three judicious 
members of the C lurch to inspect the accounts, con- 
tracts, and circumsances of the supposed delinquent, 
and if, in their opirion, he has behaved dishonestly, or 
contracted debts wthout the probability of paying, let 
the case be dispo.ed of according to the answer of 
question one of this section." 

Quest. 5 (formerly 4) has been altered from, What 
shall be done witl a member of an annual conference 
who conducts himself in a manner which renders him 
unacceptable to tie people as a travelling 'preacher ? 
to, "What shall be done when a travelling minister is 
accused of being >o unacceptable, inefficient, or secular, 
as to be no longer useful in his work ?" 

The answer is now given as follows : — 

"Ans. The conference shall investigate the case, 
and if it appear inat the complaint is well founded, and 
the accused will net voluntarily retire, the conference- 
may locate him without his consent." And this pro- 
viso is struck out : provided that he shall be at liberty 
to defend himself before the conference in person or by 
his representative ; and if he be located in his absence 
without having been previously notified of an intention 
thus to proceed againt him, he may apply to the con- 
ference, at its next session, to be heard in his defence, 
in which case they shall reconsider the matter^ for that 
purpose. 

The duty of a secretary of an annual conference in 
cases of this kind was formerly to keep regular minutes 
of the trial, including all the questions proposed to the 
witnesses, and their answers, together with the crime 
ivith which the accused is charged, the specification or 
specifications, and also preserve all the documents 
relating to the case. It is now made the secretary's 
duty "carefully to preserve the minutes of the trial, 
whether taken before a committee or before the con- 
ference, and all the documents relating to the case, 
together with the charge or charges, and the specifica- 
tion or specifications." 



176 Of the Trial of MiAsters. [Ch. 1. 

1 8«?G. Chapter ix, section 2, jpmediately preced- 
ing the words, " Provided, nevertheless," the following 
is inserted : — 1 

" But should the conference, haling jurisdiction in 
any of the foregoing cases, judge it (xpedient to try the 
accused by a select number, it mm appoint not less 
than nine, nor more than fifteen of itl members for that 
purpose, who, in the presence of a bishop or a chair- 
man, which the president of the conference shall ap- 
point, and one or more of the secretaries of the con- 
ference, shall have full power to consider and determine 
the case according to the rules whi^h govern annual 
conferences in such proceeding 



anc 



they shall make 
a faithful report of all their doings to thfe secretary of the 

o him the bill of 
cision rendered, 
the trial." 



conference in writing, and deliver up 
charges, the evidence taken, and the dfe 
with all other documents brought into 

Appeal to the General Conference. 

The following provision was introduced in 

179S. "Provided, nevertheless, that in all the 
above-mentioned cases of trial and conviction, an appeal 
to the ensuing General Conference shall be allowed." 

1830. The following clauses added :— " If the 
condemned person signify his intention to appeal, at the 
time of his condemnation, or at any time thereafter, 
when he is informed thereof. 

" In all the above-mentioned cases, it shall be the 
duty of the secretary of the annual conference to keep 
regular minutes of the trial, including all the questions 
proposed to the witnesses, and their answers, together 
with the crime with which the accused is charged, the 
specification or specifications, and also preserve all the 
documents relating to the case ; which minutes and 
documents only, in case of an appeal from the decision 
of an annual conference, shall be presented to the 
General Conference, in evidence on the case. And in 
all cases, when an appeal is made, and admitted by the 
General Conference, the appellant shall either state 
personally, or by his representative, (who shall be a 



Sec. 19.J Of the Trial of Ministers. 177 

member of the conference,) the grounds of his appeal, 
showing cause wly he appeals, and he shall be allowed 
to make his deferce without interruption. After which 
the representative of the annual conference from whose 
decision the app:al is made, shall be permitted to re- 
spond in presence of the appellant, who shall have the 
privilege of repVing to such representatives, which 
shall close the phadings on both sides. This done, the 
appellant shall withdraw, and the conference shall 
decide." 

1836. Tc which, in 1836, the following clause 
was added : " And after such form of trial and expul- 
sion, the person so expelled shall have no privileges of 
society or sacraments in our church, without confession, 
contrition, and proper trial." 

1 806. Trials and Appeals, Answer 5 is revised 
as follows : — 

" The General Conference may try appeals from 
members of amual conferences who may have been 
censured, suspended, expelled, or located wilhout their 
consent, by a committee embracing not less than fifteen 
of its members, nor more than one member from each 
delegation, who, in the presence of a bishop presiding, 
and one or more of the secretaries of the conference 
keeping a faithful record of all the proceedings had, 
shall have full power to hear and determine the case, 
subject to the rules and regulations which govern the 
said conference in such proceedings, and the records 
made and the papers submitted in such trials shall be 
presented to the conference, and be filed and preserved 
with the papers of that body." 
Trial of a preacher on probation. 

1 830. " A preacher on trial who may be accused 
of crime shall be accountable to the quarterly con- 
ference of the circuit on which he travels. The 
presiding elder shall call a committee of three local 
preachers, who may suspend him. And the quarterly 
conference may expel him. Nevertheless, he shall 
have a right to an appeal to the next annual conference," 



178 Provision for Circuits in time o\ Conference. [Ch. 1. 

Restoring credentials. 1 

1836. "When any travelling felder or deacon is 
deprived of his credentials, by expution or otherwise, 
they shall be filed with the papers d the annual con- 
ference of which he was a member ;\and should he at 
any future time give satisfactory evidence to said con- 
ference of his amendment, and procule a certificate of 
the quarterly conference of the circuiW station where 
he resides, or of an annual conference who may have 
admitted him on trial, recommendinr to the annual 
conference of which he was a memfier formerly the 
restoration of his credentials, the said (conference may 
restore them." 

SECTION xx. 

How to provide for the Circuits in timeof Conference, 
and to preserve and increase the Wprk of God. 

The original provision on this subject may be found 
in the answer to Question 71.* (See p. |)5.) The fol- 
lowing was substituted for it in 

1787. " Quest. What can be done to supply the 
circuits during the sitting of the conference ? 

"Ans. 1. Let all the appointments stand according 
to the plan of circuit. 

" 2. Engage as many local preachers and exhorters 
as will supply them ; and let them be paid for their 
time in proportion to the salary of the travelling 
preachers. 

" 3. If preachers and exhorters cannot attend, let 
some person of ability be appointed in every society, to 
sing, pray, and read one of Mr. Wesley's sermons. 

" 4. And if that cannot be done, let there be prayer 
meetings. 

" 5. Wherever you can> in large societies, appoint 
prayer meetings. 

" Lastly, let a fast be published at every quarterly 
meeting for the Friday following ; and a memorandum 

° A similar provision was made in 1783. (See p. 20.) 



Sec. 21.] Of Local Preachers. 179 

of it be written on all the class papers. Also be active 
yi dispersing the books among the people." 

1792* The last two paragraphs were struck but, 
the same duties being prescribed elsewhere. (See Sec. 
10.) But the clause in the title, (" and to preserve and 
increase the work of God,") which seems to refer to 
them, has been retained. 



SECTION XXI. 

Of Local Preachers. 

This subject was not treated in a distinct section 
until 1796. 

Quest. 1. What directions shall be given concerning local 
preachers ? 

Until 1816 this question read, "What directions 
shall be given concerning our brethren the local 
preachers, in respect to their being received as 
preachers, or admitted into the order of deacons ?" As 
a variety of provisions have been embraced under it, 
they will be treated separately under the following 
heads: — 1. Licensing; 2. Election to deacon's orders; 
3. Election to elder's orders ; 4. Sundry requisitions. 

1. Licensing. — For the original provisions on this 
subject, see under the thirteenth direction to those who 
have charge of circuits, (p. 151.) Those of 1796 
were as follows : — 

1796. " 1. No local preacher shall receive a 
license to preach till he has been examined and ap- 
proved at the quarterly meeting of his circuit; which 
license shall be drawn up in the following words, 
signed by the president of the meeting, namely : — 
' N. M. has applied to us for liberty to preach as a local 
preacher in our circuit ; and after due inquiry concern- 
ing his gifts, grace, and usefulness, we judge he is a 
proper person to be licensed for this purpose ; and we 
accordingly authorize him to preach.' 

" 2. Before any person shall be licensed as a local 



180 Of Local Preachers. [Ch. 1. 

preacher by a quarterly meeting, he shall bring a rec- 
ommendation from the society of which he is a 
member." 

1816. Answers 1 and 2 were combined into one, 
and modified so as to read as follows : — 

" 1. Before any person shall be licensed to preach 
as a local preacher among us, he shall bring a recom- 
mendation from the society or class of which he is a 
member, and be personally examined before the quar- 
terly meeting conference, by the presiding elder, or, in 
his absence, by the preacher having the charge, touch- 
ing his acquaintance with the doctrines of our church, 
(to which he shall declare his assent,) together with his 
gifts and grace for preaching ; and if he be approved 
by the quarterly meeting conference in these respects, 
and they believe that he will be generally acceptable 
and useful as a preacher, he shall then receive a license, 
signed by the presiding elder, or, in his absence, by 
the preacher having the charge, in these words, namely: 
— ' N. M. has applied to us for liberty to preach as a 
local preacher in our circuit ; and after due inquiry 
concerning his gifts, grace, and usefulness, we judge 
he is a proper person to be licensed for this purpose ; 
and we accordingly authorize him to preach,' which 
license it shall be the duty of such local preacher to 
have annually renewed." 

1 830. In consequence of the controversies which 
were then agitating the church, as to the rights of the 
laity and the local preachers, new regulations were 
made respecting the latter, by the organization of dis- 
trict conferences. 

Answer 1 (1816) was struck out, and the following 
substituted : — 

" 1 . There shall be held annually, in each presiding 
elder's district, a district conference, of which all the 
local preachers in the district, who shall have been 
licensed two years, shall be members ; and of which 
the presiding elder of the district for the time being 
shall be president ; or, in case of his absence, the con- 



Sec. 2 1 . ] Of Local Preachers. 181 

ference shall have authority to elect a president pro 
tem. It shall be the duty of the presiding elder of 
each district to appoint the time and place of the first 
conference, after which the presiding elder shall ap- 
point the time, and the conference the place of its own 
sitting. 

" 2. The said district conference shall have authority 
to license proper persons to preach, and renew their 
license; to recommend suitable candidates to the annual 
conference for deacon's or elder's orders, in the local 
connection, for admission on trial in the travelling 
connection ; and to try, suspend, expel, or acquit any 
local preacher in the district, against whom charges 
may be brought, provided, that no person shall be 
licensed without being first recommended by the quar- 
terly conference of the circuit or station to which he 
belongs, nor shall any one be licensed to preach, or 
recommended to the annual conference for ordination, 
without first being examined in the district conference 
on the subjects of doctrine and discipline. 

" 3. The district conference shall take cognizance 
of all the local preachers in the district, and shall in- 
quire into the gifts, labours, and usefulness of each 
preacher by name." 

In these provisions the following alterations were 
afterward made : — 

1 824. At the end of Answer 1 was added the 
following: — "Provided, that if any district conference 
shall refuse or neglect to hold its regular sessions, then 
the quarterly meeting conferences of the circuits and 
stations respectively, shall have authority to transact 
the business of the district conference." 

The renewal of licenses in the district conference 
was to be " annually, when, in the judgment of the said 
conference, their gifts, grace, and usefulness will war- 
rant such renewal." 

In the proviso to Answer 2, a clause was inserted, 
which provided that no person should be " recom- 
mended for admission into the travelling connection 



182 Of Local Preachers. [Ch. 1. 

without being first recommended by the quarterly con- 
ference." 

1828. It was provided that a majority of the 
members of a district conference should " be a quorum 
to do business." The words " refuse or neglect to," 
in the proviso of 1824, were changed to "not." 

At the end of Answer 1 the following sentence was 
added : — " Provided that no person shall be licensed to 
preach without the recommendation of the society of 
of which he is a member, or of a leaders' meeting." 

183©. The plan of district conferences had 
proved an entire failure, the local preachers them- 
selves, for whose sake it was adopted, not approving 
of it. It was therefore abolished, and matters restored, 
for the most part, to the condition in which they were 
prior to 1820. 

The provisions of 1820, and all the subsequent 
modifications of them, were struck out, and the follow- 
ing substituted : — 

" 1. The quarterly meeting conference shall take 
cognizance of all the local preachers in the circuit or 
station, and shall inquire into the gifts, labours, and 
usefulness of each preacher by name. 

" 2. The quarterly conference shall have authority 
to license proper persons to preach, and renew their 
license annually, when in the judgment of said confer- 
ence their gifts, grace, and usefulness will warrant such 
renewal ; to recommend suitable candidates to the an- 
nual conference for deacon's or elder's orders in the 
local connection, for admission on trial in the travelling 
connection, and to try, suspend, expel, or acquit any 
local preacher in the circuit or station against whom 
charges may be brought. Provided, that no person 
shall be licensed to preach without the recommendation 
of the society of which he is a member, or of a leaders' 
meeting. Nor shall any one be licensed to preach, or 
recommended to the annual conference to travel, or for 
ordination, without first being examined in the quarterly 
conference on the subject of doctrines and discipline." 



Sec. 21.] Of Local Preachers. 183 

1848. Answer 1 to question 1 is transferred to 
ch. iii, sec. 4, " of the quarterly conferences." The 
following is added : — 

" 4. Every local elder, deacon, or preacher shall be 
amenable to the quarterly meeting conference where 
he resides." 

185SI. Chapter iv, section 18, is amended by the 
addition of the words here included in brackets : 
" Every local elder, deacon, or preacher shall be 
amenable to the quarterly conference where he resides, 
[for his Christian character and the faithful performance 
of his ministerial office.]" And instead of neglect 
thereof, it reads, " in neglect of the above duties." 
This additional answer is given : — 

" The presiding elders and the preachers in charge 
are required so to arrange the appointments, wherever 
it is practicable, as to give the local preachers regular 
and systematic employment on the Sabbath." 

2. Election to deacon's orders. 

1789. The following provision on this subject 
was inserted under the duty of a bishop : — 

" The bishop has obtained liberty, by the suffrages 
of the conference, to ordain local preachers to the office 
of deacons, provided they obtain a testimonial from the 
society to which they belong, and from the stewards of 
the circuit, signed by three travelling preachers, three 
deacons, and three elders, (one of them being a presid- 
ing elder ;) the names of those nominated being read in 
the conference previous to their ordination." 

179S2. The clause about reading the names was 
struck out, and it was only required that the testimonial 
should be signed " by three elders, three deacons, and 
three travelling preachers." 

1796. The following paragraph on the subject 
was inserted in this section : — 

" 3. A local preacher shall be eligible to the office 
of a deacon after he has preached for four years from 
the time he has received a regular license, and has 
obtained the testimonial" [specified above.] 



184 Of Local Preachers. [Ch. 1. 

1 804. It was required that the testimonial should 
be " from the society to which he belongs, and from 
the stewards of the circuit, signed also by nine travel- 
ling preachers ; three of whom shall be elders, three 
others elders or deacons ; and the other three, elders, 
deacons, or preachers." 

1808. The testimonial was to be "from the 
quarterly meeting of the circuit to which he belongs, 
after proper examination, signed by the president, and 
countersigned by the secretary." It was also required, 
for ordination, that " his character has passed in ex- 
amination before, and he has obtained the approbation 
of the yearly conference." 

1816. The word " licensed" was inserted before 
"local preacher," (1796.) 

1836. The words "to which he belongs" (of 
1808) omitted. 

3. Election to cider's orders. 

18 15. We find the first provision on this subject 
as follows : — 

" A local deacon shall be eligible to the office of an 
elder after he has preached four years from the time 
he was ordained a deacon, and has obtained a recom- 
mendation from two-thirds of the quarterly meeting 
conference of which he is a member, certifying his 
qualifications in doctrine, discipline, talents, and useful- 
ness, and the necessity of his official services as an 
elder in the circuit where he resides ; signed by the 
president, and countersigned by the secretary. He shall, 
if he cannot attend, send to the annual conference such 
recommendation, and a note certifying his belief in the. 
doctrine and discipline of our church : — the whole being 
examined by the annual conference, and, if approved, 
he may be ordained ; 'provided, nevertheless, that no 
slaveholder shall be eligible to the office of an elder, 
where the laws will admit of emancipation, and permit 
the liberated slave to enjoy freedom." 

1816. "Or deacon" inserted after "elder," in 
the clause respecting the eligibility of a slaveholder. 



Sec. 21.] Of Local Preachers. 185 

1 830. The recommendation for orders no longer 
required to be by " two-thirds" of the conference. 

1 834. The clause requiring ttie recommendation 
to certify " the necessity of his official services as an 
elder in the circuit where he resides," omitted. 

4. Sundry requisitions. 

1800. It was required that 

" Every local preacher shall have his name enrolled 
on a class paper, and meet in class, if the distance of 
his place of residence from any class be not too great ; 
or, in neglect thereof, shall forfeit his license." 

1813. The penalty for neglecting to meet in 
class was changed to the following : " The quarterly 
meeting conference, if they judge it proper, may de- 
prive him of his ministerial office." 

It was further required, that " every local elder, 
deacon, and preacher, shall have his name recorded on 
the journal of the quarterly meeting conference of 
which he is a member." 

1830. The following paragraphs were added :— 

" Whenever a local preacher shall remove from one 
circuit to another, he shall procure from the presiding 
elder of the district, or the preacher having the charge 
of the circuit, a certificate of his official standing in the 
church at the time of his removal, without which he 
shall not be received as a local preacher in other places. 

" No preacher among us shall distil or retail spirituous 
liquors, without forfeiting his official standing." 

1 834. The requisition for meeting in class was 
restricted to " licensed" local preachers. 

1836. The words "retail spirituous liquors" 
changed to " vend spirituous liquors ;" and the requisi- 
tions to meet in class, to o*btain a certificate on removal, 
and to abstain from distilling or vending spirituous 
liquors, extended to every " elder, deacon, or preacher." 

1848. Local elders, deacons, and preachers are 
required to meet in class ; the proviso, if the distance 
of his place of residence be not too great, is struck out. 
The following is also struck out : — No elder, deacon, 



186 Of Local Preachers. [Ch. 1. 

or 'preacher among us shall distil or vend spirituous 
liquors, without forfeiting his official standing. The 
following is added : — " And when a preacher is located 
or discontinued by an annual conference, he shall he 
amenable to the quarterly conference of the circuit or 
station where he had his last appointment, or at the 
place where he shall reside at the time of his. location." 

Quest. 2. What shall be done when a local elder, deacon, 
or preacher, is reported to be guilty of some crime expressly 
forbidden in the word of God, sufficient to exclude a person 
from the kingdom of grace and glory 1 

Quest. 3. What shall be done, in cases of improper tempers, 
words, or actions 1 

A distinct provision for the trial of local preachers 
was first introduced in 1796, as follows : — 

1 7@ft. Quest. 3. " What directions shall be given 
concerning the trial of local preachers, local deacons, 
or local elders ? 

" Ans. If a charge be brought against a local preach- 
er, or local deacon, or elder, the preacher who has the 
oversight of the circuit shall summon three or more 
local preachers of the neighbourhood, or, for want of 
local preachers, so many leaders, or exhorters. And 
if they, or a majority of them, on due examination, 
judge that the local preacher, deacon, or elder, afore- 
said, has been guilty of such a crime, or has preached 
such false doctrines, as require his suspension from all 
public offices in our church till the ensuing quarterly 
meeting, the preacher who has the oversight of the cir- 
cuit shall accordingly suspend him from all public 
offices till the ensuing quarterly meeting. 

" And in such case, and in every case where a meet- 
ing, assembled as above described, shall deem the said 
local preacher, deacon, or elder, culpable, the next 
quarterly meeting shall proceed upon his trial, and shall 
have authority to clear, censure, suspend, or expel him, 
according to their judgment. And the presiding elder, 
or the preacher who has the oversight of the circuit, 
fehall, at the commencement of the trial, appoint a se- 
cretary, who shall take down regular minutes of the 



Sec. 21.] Of Local Preachers. 187 

evidence and proceedings of the trial, which minutes, 
when read and approved, shall be signed by the said 
presiding elder, or preacher, and also by the members 
of the said quarterly meeting, or by the majority of 
them. 

" And in case of condemnation, the local preacher, 
deacon, or elder condemned, shall be allowed an appeal 
to the next yearly conference, provided that he signify 
to the said quarterly meeting his determination to ap- 
peal ; in which case the said presiding elder, or the 
preacher who has the oversight of the circuit, shall lay 
the minutes of the trial above-mentioned before the said 
yearly conference, at which the local preacher, deacon, 
or elder so appealing, may appear ; and the said yearly 
conference shall judge, and finally determine, from the 
minutes of the said trial so laid before them." 

18 IS. After "all public offices" was inserted 
" and privileges." 

181©. The word " licensed" inserted before " lo- 
cal preachers," in the first paragraph, to distinguish 
such from deacons and elders. For " has preached 
such false doctrine," we have, "has publicly or pri- 
vately disseminated such false doctrine." 

1 8 SO. The mode of trial was remodelled as fol- 
lows : — 

" When charges are preferred against any local 
preacher, it shall be the duty of the preacher in charge 
to call a committee, consisting of three or more local 
preachers within the station, circuit, or district, before 
whom it shall be the duty of the accused to appear, 
and by whom he shall be acquitted, or, if found guilty, 
be suspended until the meeting of the next district con- 
ference. And the president of the said district confer- 
ence shall, at the commencement of the trial, appoint a 
secretary, who shall take down regular minutes of the 
evidence and proceedings of the trial ; which minutes, 
when read and approved, shall be signed by the said 
president, and also by the members of the said district 
conference, or by a majority of them. 



188 Of Local Preachers. [Ch. 1. 

"And in case of condemnation, the local preacher, 
deacon, or elder condemned, shall be allowed an appeal 
to the next annual conference, provided that he signify- 
to the said district conference his determination to ap- 
peal ; in which case the said president, shall lay the 
minutes of the trial above-mentioned before the said 
annual conference, at which the local preacher, deacon, 
or elder so appealing, may appear ; and the said annual 
conference shall judge, and finally determine, from the 
minutes of the said trial so laid before them." 

1 8^4. The following clause inserted after the 
first sentence, (1820) : — 

" And the preacher in charge shall cause exact mi- 
nutes of the charges, testimony, and examination, to- 
gether with the decision of the committee, to be laid 
before the district conference, where it shall be the 
duty of the accused to appear." 

The following new paragraph inserted : — 

" When a local elder or deacon shall be expelled, 
the president of the conference shall require of him the 
credentials of his ordination, to be filed with the 
papers of the annual conference within the limits of 
which the expulsion has taken place. And should he, 
at any future time, produce to the annual conference 
a certificate of his restoration, signed by the president, 
and countersigned by the secretary of the district con- 
ference, his credentials shall be restored to him." 

I830 e Prior to this time no distinction had been 
made in the mode of procedure, according to the na- 
ture of the offence. Now, however, instead of one ge- 
neral course for all kinds of charges, the subject was 
treated under two questions, one relating to " crimes," 
and the other to " improper tempers, words, or actions." 

The introductory words, (1820,) namely, "When 
charges are preferred against any local preacher, it 
shall be the duty of the preacher in charge to call," 
were struck out, and the following substituted : — 

" Quest. 2. What shall be done when a local elder, 
deacon, or preacher, is reported to be guilty of some 



Sec. 21.] Of Local Preachers. 189 

crime expressly forbidden in the word of God, suffi- 
cient to exclude a person from the kingdom of grace 
and glory ? 

"Arts. 1. The preacher having charge shall call." 

The local preachers on the committee were no longer 
required to be of " the station, circuit, or district." The 
minutes of the trial are to be signed by the members 
" who are present," or a majority of them. " District 
conference," here, as in other parts of the section, 
changed to " quarterly conference." 

The following was added at. the close of the sec- 
tion : — 

" Quest. 3. What shall be done in cases of imppoper 
tempers, words, or actions ? 

" Arts. The person so offending shall be reprehended 
by the preacher having charge. Should a second trans- 
gression take place, one, two, or three faithful friends 
are to be taken as witnesses. If he be not then cured, 
he shall be tried at the next quarterly conference, and 
if found guilty, and impenitent, he shall be expelled 
from the church."* 

1 840. Instead of " his credentials shall be re- 
stored to him," (1824,) we have, " his credentials may 
be restored to him." 

1848. There is added to Answer 1, "If the 
accused refuse or neglect to appear before said com- 
mittee, he may be tried in his absence." 

And the following is added : — 

" Quest. 3. What shall be done when a local elder, 
deacon, or preacher fails in business, or contracts debts 
which he is not able to pay ? 

" Ans. Let the preacher in charge appoint three 
judicious members of the church to inspect the accounts, 
contracts, and circumstances of the supposed delin- 
quent ; and if in their opinion he has behaved dishon- 

9 From 1796 to 1804 there was comprised in this section a question 
(2.) relating to the compensation of local preachers, in certain cases; 
but as this was, in the latter year, transferred to Part II, we shall con- 
sider it there. (See Sec. 9.) 

13 



190 Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. [Ch. 1. 

estly, or contracted debts without the probability of 
paying, let the case be disposed of according to the 
answer to question 1 of this section." 

SECTION XXII. 

Of B ap tism. 

The original provisions on this subject may be found 
under Questions 45, 46, and 48, (p. 45.) The pro- 
vision under Question 46, about re-baptizing, was 
omitted after 1786. The others have been modified 
as follows : — 

178@. "Pouring" was admitted as a mode of 
baptism, in addition. to "immersion and sprinkling." 

1787. The form of question and answer. w T as laid 
aside, and the following was added in place of Question 
48, (1784):— 

" N. B. We will on no account whatever receive a 
present for administering baptism, or the burial of the 
dead." 

18*18. The words "receive a present" changed 
to " make a charge." 

SECTION XXIII. 

Of the Lord's Supper. 

The original provisions on this subject may be found 
in the Discipline of 1784, under Questions 44 and 47. 
(See pp. 44-5.) 

1787. The answer read as follows : — 

" 1. Let those who choose, receive it kneeling, and 
let those who do not, either standing or sitting. 

" 2. Let no person that is not a member of our 
society be admitted to the communion, without examina- 
tion, and some token given by an elder or deacon." 

1792. As follows:— 

" 1. Let, those who have scruples concerning the 
receiving of it kneeling, be permitted to receive it either 
standing or sitting. 

"2. [As in 1789.] 



Sec. 24.] ■ Of Public Worship. 191 

[3.] " N. B. No person shall be admitted to the 
Lord's supper among us who is guilty of any prac- 
tice for which we would exclude a member of our 
society." 

1848. In the general directions, ch. ii, sec. 1, 
the following is omitted : — 2. Let no person that is not 
a member of our church be admitted to the communion 
without examination, and some token given by an elder 
or deacon. 

SECTION XXIV. 

Of Public Worship. 

This section was introduced in 1792, as follows :-— 
1792. " Quest. What directions shall be given 
for the establishment of uniformity in public worship 
among us, on the Lord's day ? 

" Ans. 1. Let the morning service consist of sing- 
ing, prayer, the reading of a chapter out of the Old 
Testament, and another out of the New, and preach- 

" 2. Let the afternoon service consist of singing, 
prayer, the reading of one chapter out of the Bible, and 
preaching. 

" 3. Let the evening service consist of singing, 
prayer, and preaching. 

"4. But on the- days of administering the Lord's 
supper, the two chapters in the morning service may 
be omitted. 

" 5. Let the society be met, wherever it is prac- 
ticable, on the Sabbath day." 

1 804:. It was provided that " one or two chap- 
ters" should be read in the afternoon service. 

1 824. The following clause was inserted : — " In 
administering the ordinances, and in the burial of the 
dead, let the form of Discipline invariably be used. 
Let the Lord's prayer also be used on all occasions of 
public worship in concluding the first prayer, and the 
apostolic benediction in dismissing the congregation." 



192 Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing, ' [Ch. 1. 

SECTION XXV. 

Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing. 

The origin'al provision on this subject may be found 
in the first Discipline, under Question 57, pp. 53-4. 

1 792. The following clauses added : — 

%4 The preachers are desired not to encourage the 
singing of fugue tunes in our congregations. 

" Let it be recommended to our people, not to attend 
the singing schools which are not under our direction. 

" N. B. We do not think that fugue tunes are sinful, 
or improper to be used in private companies ; but we 
do not approve of their being used in our public con- 
gregations, because public singing is a part of divine 
worship, in which all the congregation ought to join." 

1 8«>6. Chapter v, section 11. The whole sec- 
tion is revised as follows : — 

" Quest. How shall we guard against formality in 
singing ? 

" Ans. 1. Choose such hymns as are proper for the 
occasion, and do not sing too much at once. Seldom 
more than four or five verses. 

" 2. Let the tune be suited to the sentiment, and do 
not suffer the people to sing too slow. 

" 3. In every society let due attention be given to 
the cultivation of sacred music. 

"4. If you cannot sing yourself, let one or two be 
chosen in each society to lead the singing. 

" 5. As singing is a part of divine worship in which 
all ought to unite, therefore exhort every person in the 
congregation to sing, not one in ten only." 



Seen Of the General Rules. 103 



CHAPTER II. 

SECTION I. 

The Nature, Design, and General Rules of our United 
Societies. 

The General Rules, as published by Mr. Wesley, 
were as follows : — 

" 1. In the latter end of the year 1739, eight or ten 
persons came to me in London, who appeared to be 
deeply convinced of sin, and earnestly groaning for re- 
demption. They desired (as did two or three more 
the next day) that I would spend some time with them 
in prayer, and advise them how to flee from the wrath 
to come ; which they saw continually hanging over 
their heads. That we might have more time for this 
great work, I appointed a day when they might all 
come together, which from thenceforward they did 
every week, namely, on Thursday in the evening. To 
these, and as many more as desired to join with them, 
(for their number increased daily,) I gave those advices, 
from time to time, which I judged most needful for 
them ; and we always concluded our meeting with 
prayer suited to their several necessities. 

" 2. This was the rise of the United Society, first in 
London, and then in other places. Such a society is 
no other than ' a company of men having the form and 
seeking the power of godliness, united in order to pray 
together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to 
watch over one another in love, that they may help 
each other to work out their salvation.' 

" 3. That it may the more easily be discerned, 
whether they are indeed working out their own salva- 
tion, each society is divided into smaller companies, 
called classes, according to their respective places of 
abode. There are about twelve persons in every class : 
one of whom is styled the leader. It is his business, 



194 Of the General Rules. [Ch.2. 

(1.) To see each person in bis class once a week at 
least, in order to inquire how their souls prosper ; to 
advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as occasion may 
require ; to receive what they are willing to give to- 
ward the relief of the poor. (2.) To meet the minister 
and the stewards of the society once a week ; in order 
to inform the minister of any that are sick, or of any 
that walk disorderly, and will not be reproved ; to pay 
to the stewards what they have received of their several 
classes in the week preceding ; and to show their ac- 
count of what, each person lias contribuled. 

■'4. There is one only condition previously required 
in those who desire admission into these societies, — a 
desire 'to flee from the wrath to come, to be saved 
from their sins :' but, wherever this is really fixed in 
the soul, it will be shown by its fruits. It is therefore 
expected of all who continue therein, that they should 
continue to evidence their desire of salvation, 

" First, by doing no harm, by avoiding evil in every 
kind ; especially that which is most generally prac- 
tised : such is, the taking the name of God in vain ; 
the profaning the day of the Lord, either by doing 
Drdinary work thereon, or by buying or selling; drunk- 
enness, buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drink- 
ing them, unless in cases of extreme necessity; fighting, 
quarrelling, brawling; brother going to law with brother; 
returning evil for evil, or railing for railing; the using 
many words in buying or selling ; the buying or selling 
uncustomed goods ; the giving or taking things on 
usury, that, is, unlawful interest ; uncharitable or un- 
profitable conversation, particularly speaking evil of 
magistrates or of ministers ; doing to others as we 
would not they should do unto us ; doing what we 
know is not for the glory of God, as the ' putting on 
of gold or costly apparel ;' the taking such diversions 
as cannot be used in the name of the Lord Jesus ; the 
singing those songs, or reading those books, which do 
not tend to the knowledge or love of God ; softness, 
and needless self-indulgence ; laying up treasures upon 



Sec. 1.] Of the General Rules. 195 

earth ; borrowing without a probability of paying ; or 
taking up goods without a probability of paying for 
them. 

" 5. It is expected of all who continue in these socie- 
ties, that they should continue to evidence their desire 
of salvation, 

" Secondly, by doing good, by being, in every kind, 
merciful after their power ; as they have opportunity, 
doing good of every possible sort, and as far as is pos- 
sible, to all men ; — to their bodies, of the ability which 
God giveth, by giving food to the hungry, by clothing 
the naked, by visiting or helping them that are sick, or 
in prison ; — to their souls, by instructing, reproving, or 
exhorting all they have any intercourse with ; trampling 
under foot that enthusiastic doctrine of devils, that ' we 
are not to do good unless our heart be free to it :' by 
doing good especially to them that are of the household 
of faith, or groaning so to be ; employing them prefera- 
bly to others, buying one of another ; helping each 
other in business ; and so much the more, because the 
world will love its own, and them only : by all possi- 
ble diligence and frugality, that the gospel be not 
blamed : by running with patience the race that is set 
before them, ' denying themselves, and taking up their 
cross daily ;' submitting to bear the reproach of Christ, 
to be as the filth and offscouring of the world ; and 
looking that men should ' say all manner of evil of 
them falsely for the Lord's sake.' 

" 6. It is expected of all who desire to continue in 
these societies, that they should continue to evidence 
their desire of salvation, 

" Thirdly, by attending upon all the ordinances of 
God. Such are, the public worship of God ; the min- 
istry of the word, either read or expounded ; the sup- 
per of the Lord ; family and private prayer ; searching 
the Scriptures ; and fasting, or abstinence. 

" 7. These are the General Rules of our societies; all 
which we are taught of God to observe, even in his 
written word, the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both 



196 Of the General Rules. [Ch. 2.. 

of our faith and practice. And all these, we know, his 
Spirit writes on every truly awakened heart. If there 
be any among us who observe them not, who habitu- 
ally break any of them, let it be made known unto 
them who watch over that soul as they that must give 
an account. We will admonish him of the error of his 
ways ; we will bear with him for a season : but then 
if he repent not, he hath no more place among us. 
We have delivered our own souls. 

" John Wesley, 
" May 1, 1743." " Charles Wesley."* 

These Rules, as thus drawn up by the Wesleys, 
were adopted without alteration by the first Methodist 
societies in America.! They do not seem, however, to 
have been published in any edition of the Discipline 
until 17894 when we find the following alterations : — 

The historical introduction, which precedes the defi- 
nition of the United Society, is omitted, and the section 
begins, " Our society is nothing more than 'a company, 
&c.'" Under the duty of a leader, for "relief of the 
poor," it reads, " relief of the preachers, church, and 
poor," and it is added in a note, " This part refers 
wholly to town and cities, where the poor are generally 
numerous, and church expenses considerable." It 
omits the requisition that the leaders shall-" show their 
account of what each person has contributed." Under 
the rule about drunkenness, it omits the clause, " unless 
in cases of extreme necessity." It is in this Discipline 
that we find, for the first time, among the General Rules, 
one respecting slaves. It reads, " The buying or sell- 
ing the bodies and souls of men, women, or children, 
with an intention to enslave them." 

In the expression of the original rules, — " that en- 
thusiastic doctrine of devils," the words "of devils" are 
omitted. After the direction about " buying one of 



* Wesley's Works, vol. v, pp. 190-2. 

t See Lee's Hist, of tho Meth., pp. 29-33. t See above, p. 82 



Sec. 2.] Of Class Meetings. 197 

another," it is added, (" unless you can be served better 
elsewhere,") but this clause was omitted in 1792. The 
only rules that have since undergone any change are 
those which relate to spirituous liquors and slavery. 
The various alterations in them are presented below. 
Spirituous liquors. 

The rule on this subject has been at different times 
as follows : — 

1743. Mr. Wesley's original rule, — "Drunken 
ness, buying or selling spirituous liquors, or drinking 
them, unless in cases of extreme necessity." 

1789. "Drunkenness, buying or selling spiritu- 
ous liquors, or drinking them." 

1 79®. " Drunkenness, or drinking spirituous 
liquors, unless cases of necessity." 

1791. "Drunkenness, or drinking spirituous 
liquors, unless in cases of necessity." 

1848. Mr. Wesley's Rule restored as in 1743. 
Slaves. 

There is nothing on this subject in the General Rules 
of Mr. Wesley. But we find the following in 

1789. "The buying or selling the bodies and 
souls of men, women, or children, with an intention to 
enslave them." 

179S. It reads, " The buying or selling of men, 
women, or children, with an intention to enslave them." 

1 808. It reads, " The buying and selling of men, 
women, and children, with an intention to enslave them."* 

SECTION II. 

Of Class Meetings. 

This section contains five questions, the changes in 
which will be noticed in order. 

Quest. 1. How may the leaders of classes be rendered 
more useful 1 

The answer to this question remains substantially the 
same as in 1784. (See Quest. 13, p. 29.) 

* For this alteration (if indeed it be not a purely typographical 
error) no authority is found in the journal of the General Conference, 



198 Of Class Meetings. [Ch.2. 

Quest. 2. Can any thing more be done in order to make the 
class meetings lively and profitable ? 

The answer to this remains precisely the same as in 
1784. (See Quest. 14, p. 29.) 

Quest. 3. How shall we prevent improper persons from in- 
sinuating themselves into the church 1 

1T8.4:- " Quest. 16. How shall we prevent im- 
proper persons .from insinuating into the society ? 

" Ans. 1. Give tickets to none till they are recom- 
mended by a leader, with whom they have met at least 
two months on trial. 

" 2. Give notes to none but those who are recom- 
mended by one you know, or till they have met three or 
four times in a class. 

" 3. Give them the rules the first time they meet." 

lT89o The probation was extended to "six 
months." 

18S6. "Give tickets to none," was changed to, 
" Let none be received into the church ;" and, " Give 
notes to none," into, " Let none be admitted on trial." 
It was now made a requisite for admission into the 
church, that the candidates " have been baptized." For 
admission on trial, it was now made sufficient to have 
met, "twice or thrice" in a class, instead of "three or 
four times." 

I 840o The following was added to the requisites 
for admission into the church: — 

"And shall on examination by the minister in charge, 
before the church, give satisfactory assurances both of 
the correctness of their faith, and their willingness to 
observe and keep the rules of the church. Nevertheless, 
if a member in good standing in any other orthodox 
church shall desire to unite with us, such applicant may, 
by giving satisfactory answers to the usual inquiries, 
be received at once into full fellowship." 

Quest. 4. How shall we be more exact in receiving and ex- 
cluding members ? 

1784. " Quest. 17. When shall we admit new 
members ? 



Sec. 3.] Of thv Band Societies. 199 

" Arts. In large towns, admit them into the bands at 
the quarterly love-feast following the quarterly meeting : 
into the society, on the Sunday following the quarterly 
meeting. Then also read the names of them that are 
excluded." 

1789. The following was substituted : — 

" How shall we be more strict in receiving and 
excluding members ? 

" Ans. In large societies, we may read the names 
of l hose that are received and excluded, once a quarter." 

1703. The answer is, "The official minister or 
preacher shall, at every quarterly meeting, read the 
names of those that are received and excluded." 

1 836. The last clause of the answer reads, 
" those that are received into the church and also those 
that are excluded therefrom." 

Quest. 5. What shall we do with those members of our 
church who wilfully and repeatedly neglect to meet their class. 

The answer to this question remained substantially 
the same as in 1784, (see Quest. 65, p. 59,) until 

1830, when the second answer was changed so 
as to read, " If thev do not amend, let him who has the 
charge of the circuit or station bring their case before 
the society or a select number, before whom they shall 
have been cited to appear ; and if they be found guilty 
of wilful neglect by the decision of a majority of the 
members before whom their case is brought, let them 
be laid aside, and let the preacher show that they are 
excluded for a breach of our rules, and not for immoral 
conduct." 

SECTION III. 

Of the Band Societies. 

The rules for the bands were drawn up by Mr. Wes- 
ley at. the dates prefixed to them severally. But they 
were not introduced into our Discipline until 1791.* 
The original rules were as follows : — 



* Wesley's Works, vol. v, pp. 192-4. 



200 Of the Band Societies. [Ch.2. 

Rules of the Band Societies, drawn up Dec. 25, 1738. 

" The design of our meeting is, to obey that com- 
mand of God, ' Confess your faults one to another, and 
pray one for another, that ye may be healed.' 

" To this end, we intend, — 

"1. To meet once a week, at the least. 

" To come punctually at the hour appointed, without 
some extraordinary reason. 

"3. To begin (those of us who are present) exactly 
at the hour, with singing or prayer. 

"4. To speak each of us in order, freely and plainly, 
the true state of our souls, with the faults we have com- 
mitted in thought, word, or deed, and the temptations 
we have felt, since our last meeting. 

" 5. To end every meeting with prayer, suited to the 
state of each person present. 

" 6. To desire some person among us to speak his 
own state first, and then to ask the rest, in order, as 
many and as searching questions as may be, concern- 
ing their state, sins, and temptations. 

" Some of the questious proposed to every one before 
he is admitted among us may be to this effect : — 

" 1. Have you the forgiveness of your sins? 

" 2. Have you peace with God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ ? 

" 3. Have you the witness of God's Spirit with your 
spirit, that you are a child of God ? 

"4. Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart? 

"5. Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over 
you? 

" 6. Do you desire to be told your faults ? 

" 7. Do you desire to be told all your faults, and that 
plain and home ? 

" 8. Do you desire that every one of us should tell 
you, from time to time, whatsoever is in his heart con- 
cerning you ? 

" 9. Consider ! Do you desire we should tell you 
whatsoever we think, whatsoever we fear, -whatsoever 
we hear, concerning you ? 



Sec. 3.] Of the Band Societies. 201 

" 10. Do you desire that, in doing this we should 
come as close as possible, that we should cut to the 
quick, and search your heart to the bottom ? 

"11. Is it your desire and design to be on this, and 
all other occasions, entirely open, so as to speak every 
thing that is in your heart without exception, without 
disguise, and without reserve ? 

" Any of the preceding questions may be asked as 
often as occasion offers ; the four following at every 
meeting : — 

" 1 . What known sins have you committed since our 
last meeting ? 

" 2. What temptations have you met with? 

"3. How were you delivered ? 

"4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which 
you doubt whether it be sin or not ? 

" Directions given to the Band Societies, Dec. 25, 1744. 

" You are supposed to have the faith that ' overcom- 
eth the world.' To you, therefore, it is not grievous, — 

"I. Carefully to abstain from doing evil; in particular, 

"1. Neither to buy nor sell any thing at all on the 
Lord's day. 

"2. To taste no spirituous liquor, no dram of any 
kind, unless prescribed by a physician. 

" 3. To be at a word both in buying and selling. 

" 4. To pawn nothing, no, not to save life.* 

" 5. Not to mention the fault of any behind his back, 
and to stop those short that do. 

" 6. To wear no needless ornaments, such as rings, 
earrings, necklaces, lace, ruffles. 

" 7. To use no needless self-indulgence, such as tak- 
ing snuff or tobacco, unless prescribed by a physician. 

" II. Zealously to maintain good works ; in particular, 

"1. To give alms of such things as you possess, and 
that to the uttermost of your power. 

* In publishing this rule, Mr. Crowther adds the following note : — 
" There was a fund at that time established to assist the poor, either 
by loan or donation, which accounts for the rigour of the rule." — For. 
traiture of Methodism, p. 256. 



202 Qf ^ Band Societies. [Ch. 2. 

" 2. To reprove all that sin in your sight, and that in 
love and meekness of wisdom. 

" 3. To be patterns of diligence and frugality, of self- 
denial, and taking up the cross daily. 

" III. Constantly to attend on all the ordinances of 
God ; in particular, — 

"1. To be at church and at the Lord's table every 
week, and at every public meeting of the bands. 

" 2. To attend the ministry of the word every morn- 
ing, unless distance, business, or sickness prevent. 

" 3. To use private prayer every day ; and family 
prayer, if you are at the head of a family. 

" 4. To read the Scriptures, and meditate therein, 
at every vacant hour. And, — 

" 5. To observe, as days of fasting or abstinence, all 
Fridays in the year."* 

1791. The section was introduced, as now, by a 
definition of a band, namely, 

" Two, three, or four true believers, who have full 
confidence in each other, form a band. Only it is to 
be observed, that in one of these bands all must be 
men, or all women; and all married, or all single." 

The following was added to the questions at the close 
of the Rules, namely, " 5. Have you nothing you de- 
sire to keep secret?" which was omitted in 1792. In 
Direction I, 6, " earrings" included among the need- 
less ornaments. 

Under the " Directions, &c," I, 4, the rule is simply, 
" To pawn nothing," omitting the clause, " no, not to 
save life." 

17^5%. In Question 11, the words, "every thing 
that is in your heart, without exception," are omitted. 

Under the " Directions, &c," that about " pawning" 
is omitted. The last under that head reads, " To use 
no needless self-indulgence," omitting the words "such 
as taking snuff or tobacco, unless prescribed by a phy- 



* In 1784, some directions were given, "how to encourage meet- 
ing in band." (See Quest. 19, p. 36.) 



Sec. 5.] Of Marriage. 203 

sician." Direction III, 1, was altered to the follow- 
ing : — "To be at church, and at the Lord's table, and 
at every public meeting of the bands, at every oppor- 
tunity."" Direction III, 2, was omitted ; and III, 4, (3) 
changed to the following : — " Frequently to read the 
Scriptures, and meditate thereon." 

1856. Section iv, all of which relates to "Band 
Societies," is stricken out. 

SECTION IV. 

Of the Privileges granted to Serious Persons who 
are not of our church. 
The only material alterations in the Rules on this sub- 
ject since 1 784 (see Ques. 11, 12, p. 29) arc the following: 
178'?'. In the answer to the first, question, the 
last two sentences struck out ; and in the second, after 
" twice," was inserted " or thrice."* 

18®8. The first question reads, "How often 
shall we permit those who are not of our society to 
meet in class or society ?" 

1816. The rule was made to refer only to meet- 
ing in class. 

section v. 
Of Marriage. 

The title in 1789 was, "On unlawful Marriages," 
which was changed for the present in 1804. 

Quest. 1. Do we observe any evil which has prevailed in our 
church with respect to marriage ? 

There has been no material change in the answer to 
this question since 1784. (See Question 20, p. 37.) 
The question assumed its present form in 1796. 

Quest. 2. What can be done to discourage this ? 

The original provisions on the subject may be seen 
under Question 21, p. 37. 

1804. The words, "put a stop to," in the ques- 
tion, were changed to " discourage ;" and the punish- 
ment for violating the rule was changed from expulsion 
to " putting back on trial for six months." 

° The rule had been thus in 1773. (See p. 10.) 



204 Of Dress. [Ch. 2. 

1836. The penalty was done away with, by 
striking out entirely Answers 2 and 3. 

Quest. 3. Ought any woman to marry without the consent of 
her parents ? 

The original answer may be found under Question 22, 
p. 37. The alterations in it have been as follows : — 

1789-* The last three words, "to marry her," 
were changed to, " to be married to her." 

I 800. The words, " if a woman be under the 
necessity of marrying," were changed to, " if a woman 
believe it to be her duty to marry." 

1 7f$S. The following note was added : — 

" N. B. By the word ' unawakened,' as used above, 
we mean one whom we could not in conscience admit 
into society." To this, in 

17@0, the following sentence was added: — 
" We do not prohibit our people from marrying persons 
who are not of our society, provided such persons have 
the form, and are seeking the power, of godliness ; but 
if they marry persons who do not come up to this 
description, we shall be obliged to purge our society 
of them ; and even in a doubtful case the member of 
our society shall be put back upon trial." 

S80O. The definition of an "unawakened" per- 
son was omitted. 

1804. For "but if they marry persons who do 
not come up to this description, we shall be obliged to 
purge our society of them," it reads, " but we are 
determined to discourage their marrying persons who 
do not come up to this description." 

1 836. The clause, (1796,) "And even in a doubt- 
ful case the member of our society shall be put back 
upon trial," omitted. 

SECTION VI. 

Of Dress. 
The original provision on this subject* may be found 
under Question 18, p. 36. 

3 The subject is also noticed in the Annual Minutes for 1784. (See 
above, page 21, Question 11.) 



Sec. 7.] Of the Trial of Members. 205 

1799. The words, "not even of a married woman," 
struck out. 

1 836. The words, " give no tickets," where they 
first occur, were changed to " receive none into the 
church ;" but they were retained in the last sentence. 
The word " any," before " encouragement," and the 
word " large," before " society," were omitted. 

1 856. Chap, viii, sec. 1, is revised to read thus : — 

" Quest. Should we insist on the rules concerning 
dres-s ? 

" Ans. By all means. This is no time to encourage 
superfluity in dress. Therefore, let all our people be 
exhorted to conform to the spirit of the apostolic precept, 
' not to adorn themselves with gold, and pearls, and 
costty array.' 1 Tim. ii, 9." 

SECTION VII. 

Of bringing to Trial, finding guilty, and reproving, 
suspending, or excluding disorderly Persons from 
Society and Church Privileges. 

The original draft of this section was prepared by 
Bishop Asbury in 1788,* and introduced into the Dis- 
cipline of 1789. It was as follows : — 

" On bringing to Trial, finding guilty, reproving, 
suspending, and excluding disorderly persons from 
Society and Church Privileges. 

" Quest. How r shall a suspected member be brought 
to trial ? 

" Ans. Before the society of which he is a member, 
or a select number of them, in the presence of a bishop, 
elder, deacon, or preacher, in the following manner : — 
Let the accused and accuser be brought face to face : 
if this cannot be done, let the next best evidence be 
procured. If the accused person be found guilty, and 
the crime be such as is expressly forbidden by the word 
of God, sufficient to exclude a person from the king- 
dom of grace and glory, and to make him a subject of 

~~*~See p. 83. 



206 Of the Trial of Members. [Ch. 2. 

wrath and hell, let him be expelled. If he evade a 
trial by absenting himself, after sufficient notice given 
him, and the circumstances of the accusation be strong 
and presumptive, let him be esteemed as guilty, and 
accordingly excluded. And without evident marks and 
fruits of repentance, such offenders shall be solemnly 
disowned before the church. Witnesses from without 
shall not be rejected, if a majority believe them to be 
honest men. 

" But in cases of neglect of duties of any kind, im- 
prudent conduct, indulging sinful tempers or words, 
disobedience to the order and Discipline of the church, 
first, let private reproof be given by a leader or 
preacher : if there be an acknowledgment of the fault, 
and proper humiliation, the person may remain on trial. 
On a second offence, a preacher may take one or two 
faithful friends. On a third failure, if the transgression 
be increased or continued, let it be brought before the 
society, or a select number : if there be no sign of hu- 
miliation, and the church is dishonoured, the offender 
must be cut off. If there be a murmur or complaint 
that justice is not done, the person shall be allowed an 
appeal to the quarterly meeting, and have his case 
reconsidered before a bishop, presiding elder, or dea- 
con, with the preachers, stewards, and leaders who 
may be present. After such forms of trial and expul- 
sion, such persons as are thus excommunicated shall 
have no privileges of society and sacrament in our 
church, without contrition, confession, and proper trial.* 

"N. B. From this time forward, no person shall be 
owned as a member of our church without six months' 
trial"! 



* For a provision on this point in 1781, see p. 17. 

t In the same year the following explanation of this section was 
published in the Minutes : — 

" As a very few persons have in some respect mistaken our mean- 
ing, in the thirty-second section of our Form of Discipline, on bring- 
ing to trial disorderly persons, &c, we think it necessary to explain it, 

" When a member of our society is to be tried for any offence, the 
officiating minister or preacher is to call together all the members, if 



Sec. 7.] Of the Trial of Members. 207 

179S. The title was changed to its present form. 
The words, " let him be expelled," changed to " let 
the minister or preacher who has charge of the circuit 
expel him." The last sentence but one of the first 
paragraph, beginning, "And without, &c," omitted. 
The last sentence made to read as now, "witnesses 
from without shall not be rejected." 

The latter part of the second paragraph read as fol- 
lows : — " On a second offence, the preacher or leader 
may take one or two faithful friends. On a third 
offence, let the case be brought before the society, or a 
select number ; and if there be no sign of real humilia- 
tion, the offender must be cut off. 

" If there be a murmur or complaint from any ex- 
cluded person in any of the above-mentioned instances, 
that justice has not been done, he shall be allowed an 
appeal to the next quarterly meeting ; and the majority 
of the ministers, travelling and local preachers, exhort- 
ers, stewards, and leaders present shall finally deter- 
mine the case." The words, " as are thus excommu- 
nicated," in the last sentence, are omitted, as also the 
note. 

The following new note was added : — 

" N. B. If a member of our church shall be clearly 
convicted of endeavouring to sow dissensions in any of 
our societies, by inveighing against either our doctrines 
or discipline, such person so offending shall be first 
reproved by the senior minister or preacher of his cir- 
cuit, and, if he afterward persist in such pernicious 
practices, he shall be expelled the society." 

1800. The word " suspected," in the question, 
changed to " accused." 

In Answer 1, (1789,) after the words " found guilty," 

the society be small, or a select number if it be large, to take know, 
ledge and give advice, and bear witness to the justice of the whole 
process ; that improper and private expulsions may be prevented for 
the future." 

This note is not found in the reprint of the Minutes, but it is pub- 
lished in Lee's History of the Methodists, p. 143. 



208 Of the Trial of Members. [Ch. 2., 

the following inserted : — " by the decision of a majority 
of the members before whom he is brought to trial." 
The words, " and to make him a subject of wrath and 
hell," omitted. 

The following new provision added : — 

" Nevertheless, if in any of the above-mentioned 
cases the minister or preacher differ in judgment from 
the majority of the society, or the select number, con- 
cerning the innocence or guilt of the accused person, 
the trial, in such case, may be referred by the minister 
or preacher to the ensuing quarterly meeting." 

1808. The following inserted with reference to 
those who may appeal to the quarterly conferences 
(1792) : — " except such as exempt [absent] themselves 
from trial, after sufficient notice is given them." 

1 8 Si 8. The words in the second paragraph, 1789, 
" the person may remain on trial," changed to " the 
person may be borne with."* 

1848. Immoral members, Part i, ch. viii, sec. 4. 
This section remains as it was, save that instead of if the 
circumstances be strong and presumptive, it now reads, 
" If the circumstances of the accusation afford strong 
presumption of guilt;" and the words " buying, selling, 
or using intoxicating liquors as a beverage," are added 
in answer 2. At the close it now reads, " without con- 
trition, confession, and [satisfactory reformation] ;" it 
was formerly proper trial. 

* In 1796 the following section was introduced on the sale and use of 
spirituous liquors. It was continued until 1840, when it was struck out, 
as seeming to sanction the practices for which it made regulations. 

" Section 10. Of the Sale and Use of Spirituous Liquors. 

" Quest. What directions shall he given concerning the sale and use 
of spirituous liquors ? 

"Ans. If any member of our society retail or give spirituous liquors, 
and anything disorderly be transacted under his roof on this account, 
the preacher who has the oversight of the circuit shall proceed against 
him as in the case of other immoralities : and the person accused shall 
be cleared, censured, suspended, or excluded, according to his conduct, as 
on other charges of immorality." 

For the provisions on the subject prior to 1784, see pp. 15, 19. 



Sec. 1.] Administration of the Lord's Supper. 209 



CHAPTER III. 

SACRAMENTAL SERVICES, &c. 

As the Forms for the various services have under- 
gone little alteration for many years, and can easily be 
referred to, it will be sufficient here to show wherein 
the present Forms differ from those recommended by 
Mr. Wesley, and wherein the latter differed from those 
of the Church of England, of which they were an 
abridgment. 

SECTION I. 

The Order for the Administration of the Lord's 
Supper. 

The original order, as recommended by Mr. Wes- 
ley, differed from that of the Church of England in the 
following particulars : — It omitted the rubric requiring 
communicants to signify their intention previously to 
the curate, and those requiring the curate to repel im- 
proper persons from the table, the first prayer for 
rulers ; the creed, the rubric respecting the publication 
of notices, the verse in the offertory, taken from Tobit 
iv, 7; the three exhortations preparatory to communion, 
that part of the rubric directing the people to kneel 
while communing, (as well as the note in explanation 
of the rule,) the third prayer after the communion, all 
the collects at the close, and the rubrics, at the close 
(of which the first prescribed how much of the order 
was to be said when there was no communion, the 
second and third, when there was to be no communion, 
the fourth regulated the communicating of priests and 
deacons in cathedral and collegiate churches and col- 
leges ; the fifth prescribed the kind of bread ; the sixth, 
what was to be done with the bread and wine that re- 
mained ; the seventh, how the bread and wine were 
to be provided ; the eighth, how often parishes should 
communicate and pay their ecclesiastical dues ; the 



210 Administration of the Lord's Supper. ICh. 3. 

ninth, what was to be done with the money given at 
the offertory.) 

Throughout, the title " elder" is substituted for 
"priest," and "the supreme rulers of the United 
States" for " the king," and " to all the ministers of 
thy gospel" for " to all bishops and curates." 

The " absolution," after the Confession, in the order 
of the Church of England, is an address by the priest 
to the people, while, in the Methodist form, it is a 
prayer to God. 

A provision was made, which is not found in the 
Church of England order, for extempore prayer at the 
close of the communion. 

The order as prepared by Mr. Wesley contains the 
following portions that were afterward omitted : — 

" The Table at the Communion time, having a fair white Linen 
Cloth upon it, shall stand where morning and evening prayers 
are appointed to be said. And the Elder, standing at the Table, 
shall say the Lord's Prayer, with the Collect following, the 
People kneeling." 

Then follows the Lord's Prayer. The Collect is 
the same that, in the present order, follows the prayer 
for absolution. After the Collect is inserted the fol- 
lowing : — 

" Then shall the Elder, turning to the People, rehearse distinctly 
all the Ten Commandments : and the People still kneeling 
shall, after every Commandment, ask God Mercy for their 
Transgression thereof for the Time past, and Grace to keep 
the same for the Time to come, as follow eth : 

" Minister. 

" God spake these words, and said, I am the Lord thy God : 
hou shalt have none other gods but me. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, 
nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the 
earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not 
bow down to them, nor worship them : for I the Lord thy God 
am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the 
children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate 



Sec. 1.] Administration of the Lord's Supper. 211 

me, and show mercy unto thousands in them that love me, and 
keep my commandments. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Mmist. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God 
in vain : for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his 
name in vain. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day. 
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do : but 
the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou 
shalt do no manner of work, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, 
thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, thy cattle, and the 
stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord 
made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and 
rested the seventh day ; wherefore the Lord blessed the seventh 
day, and hallowed it. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days 
may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Thou shalt do no murder. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Thou shalt not steal. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy 
neighbour. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts 
to keep this law. 

" Minist. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou 
shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his servant, nor his 
maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his. 

" People. Lord, have mercy upon us, and write all these thy 
laws in our hearts, we beseech thee. 

" Then shall follow this Collect. 

" Almighty and everlasting God, we are taught by thy holy 
word, that the hearts of the princes of the earth are in thy rule 
and governance, and that thou dost dispose and turn them as it 



212 Administration of the Lord's Supper. [Ch. 3 

seemeth best to thy godly wisdom ; we humbly beseech thee so 
to dispose and govern the hearts of the supreme rulers of these 
United States, our governors, that in all their thoughts, words, 
and works, they may ever seek thy honour and glory, and study 
to preserve thy people committed to their charge, in wealth, 
peace, and godliness. Grant this, merciful Father, for thy 
dear Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

" Then shall be said the Collect of the Day. And immediately 
after the Collect, the Elder shall read the Epistle, saying, 
The Epistle [or, The Portion of Scripture appointed for the 

Epistle] is written in the Chapter of , beginning at 

the Verse. And the Epistle ended, he shall say, Here 

endeth the Epistle. Then shall be read the Gospel, (the 
People all standing up,) saying, The holy Gospel is written 
in the Chapter of , beginning at the Verse. 

" Then shall follow the Sermon.'''' 

The offertory contains the following passages of 
Scripture, which were afterward omitted, namely : — 
1 Cor. ix, 7, 11, 13, 14 ; Gal. vi, 6, 7 ; Tobit iv, 8, 9. 

After the offertory was the following prayer : — 

" Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's church militant here on earth. 

" Almighty and ever-living God, who by thy holy apostle hast 
taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks 
for all men ; we humbly beseech thee most 
mercifully [*to accept our alms and oblations, * If there be no alms 
and] to receive these our prayers, which we °. r oblations, then 
offer unto thy divine Majesty; beseeching tt\ ™ nt f 

. J . i-i , • ii ? accepting our alms 

thee to inspire continually the universal church an< i oblations] be left 
with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord ; unsaid. 
and grant that all they that do confess thy 
holy name may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in 
unity and godly love. We beseech thee also to save and defend 
all Christian kings, princes, and governors ; and especially thy 
servants the supreme rulers of these United States ; that under 
them we may be godly and quietly governed : and grant unto all 
that are put in authority under them, that they may truly and indif- 
ferently administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and 
vice, and to the maintenance of thy true religion and virtue. Give 
grace, heavenly Father, to all the ministers of thy gospel, that 
they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and 
lively word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy sacraments. 
And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace ; and especially 
to this congregation here present ; that with meek heart and due 
reverence they may hear and receive thy holy word, trnly serv- 



Sec. 1.] Administration of the Lord's Supper. 213 

ing thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life. 
And we most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to 
comfort and succour all them, who in this transitory life are in 
trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity. And 
we also bless thy holy name for all thy servants departed this 
life in thy faith and fear ; beseeching thee to give us grace so 
to follow their good examples, that with them we may be par- 
takers of thy heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for 
Jesus Christ's sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen." 

After the prayer for absolution the following was 
inserted :— 

" Then all standing, the Elder shall say, 

" Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto 
all that truly turn to him : 

"Come unto me, all ye that are burdened and heavy-laden, 
and I will refresh you. Matt, xi, 28. 

" So God loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, 
to the end that all that believe in him, should not perish, but 
have everlasting life. John hi, 16. 

" Hear also what St. Paul saith : 

" This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, 
That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. 
i, 15. 

" Hear also what St. John saith : 

" If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus 
Christ the righteous : and he is the propitiation for our sins. 
1 John ii, 1, 2. 

" After which the Elder shall proceed, saying, 

" Lift up your hearts. 

" Ans. We lift them up unto the Lord. 

" Elder. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God. 

" Ans. It is meet and right so to do." 

Before the passage beginning — " Therefore with 
angels, &c," was inserted this rubric : — 

" Here shall follow the proper Preface, according to the Time, 
if there be any especially appointed ; or else immediately shall 
folloio : 

The prefaces were inserted as follows : — 

" Upon Christmas-Day. 
" Because thou didst give Jesus Christ thine only Son to be 
born as at this time for us, who, by the operation of the Holy 



214 Administration of the Lord's Supper. [Ch. 3. 

Ghost, was made very man, and that without spot of sin, to make 
us clean from all sin. Therefore with angels, &c. 

" Upon Easter-Day. 

" But chiefly we are bound to praise thee for the glorious 
resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord : for he is the 
very Paschal Lamb, which was offered for us, and hath taken 
away the sin of the world ; who by his death hath destroyed 
death, and by his rising to life again, hath restored to us ever- 
lasting life. Therefore with angels, &c 

" Upon Ascension-Day 

" Through thy most dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ our 
Lord ; who, after his most glorious resurrection, manifestly ap- 
peared to all his apostles, and in their sight ascended up into 
heaven, to prepare a place for us ; that where he is, thither we 
might also ascend, and reign with him in glory. Therefore with 
angels, &c. 

" Upon Whitsunday. 

" Through Jesus Christ our Lord ; according to whose most 
true promise the Holy Ghost came down, as at this time, from 
heaven with a sudden great sound, as it had been a mighty wind, 
in the likeness of fiery tongues, lighting upon the apostles, to 
teach them, and to lead them into all truth ; giving them both the 
gift of divers languages, and also boldness, with fervent zeal, con- 
stantly to preach the gospel unto all nations, whereby we have 
been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and 
true knowledge of thee, and of thy Son Jesus Christ. There- 
fore with angels, &c. 

" Upon the Feast of Trinity. 

" Who art one God, one Lord ; not one only person, but three 
persons in one substance. For that which we believe of the 
glory of the Father, the same we believe of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality. Therefore 
with angels, &c." 

The forms immediately following the prayer of ab- 
solution being said standing, the rubric prefixed to the 
prayer before that of consecration was as follows : — 

" Then shall the Elder, kneeling down at the Table, say in the 
Name of all them that shall receive the Communion, this Prayer 
following; the People also kneeling : 

The original order in the Sunday service has since 
undergone the following alterations •— 



Seel.] Administration of the Lord's Supper. 215 

1786. The first rubric, instead of directing that 
the table should " stand where morning and evening 
prayers are appointed to be said," directed that it should 
" stand in some convenient place." In the collect after 
the commandments, " princes of the earth" was changed 
to " rulers of the earth," and "supreme" omitted before 
"rulers of the United States." In the offertory the verses 
from Tobit iv, 8, 9, were omitted. In the prayer after 
the offertory, the words " kings, princes, and" before 
" governors," and " supreme" before " rulers," struck 
out. 

179SS. In this year the Forms were first incor- 
porated in the book of Discipline. The order for the 
communion as prepared by Mr. Wesley was abridged by 
the omission of all the parts quoted above in small type, 
and the passages of the offertory from 1 Cor. and Gal. 

The following changes were also made. The first 
collect was transferred so as to follow the prayer for 
absolution. In the addresses to the communicants, on 
delivering the elements, the words " body" and "soul" 
were transposed, and the words " thee" and " thy soul" 
and " body" were printed in italics, (as they have been 
ever since,) indicating that if there be more than one 
communicant, the plural form is to be used ; — which 
is a departure from the original usage. 

In the prayer immediately preceding the prayer of 
consecration, the original words, "that our sinful bodies 
may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed 
through his most precious blood," were changed to "that 
our sinful souls and bodies may be made clean by his 
death, and washed through his most precious blood." 

At the close of the order, the following note was 
added : — 

" N. B. If the elder be straitened for time, he may 
omit any part of the service except the prayer of conse- 
cration." 

The order has undergone no alteration since 1792. 



216 Ministration of Baptism of Infants. [Cb > 

SECTION II. 

The Ministration of Baptism of Infants. 

The order recommended by Mr. Wesley differed 
from that of the Church of England, in the following 
particulars. It omits the four introductory rubrics, (the 
first of which relates to the periods at which baptism 
should be administered ; the second, to godfathers and 
godmothers ; the third, to the preparatory arrangements 
for baptism ; and the fourth, to ascertaining whether the 
child has been baptized before.) It also omits the ex- 
hortation after the Gospel, all the addresses to the god- 
fathers and godmothers, and the two concluding notes, 
(the first of which declares that baptized children, dying 
before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved, 
and the second relates to the use of the sign of the 
cross in baptism.) 

The whole service for " the ministration of baptism 
of children in private houses" is omitted. 

In regard to the mode of baptizing, the English ru- 
bric directed — " (if they shall certify him that the child 
may well endure it) he shall dip it in the water discreetly 
and warily," — " But, if they certify that the child is 
weak, it shall suffice to pour water upon it." The 
Sunday service directed, " He shall dip it in the water, 
or spinkle it therewith." The English form declared 
of the child, after baptism — " this child is regenerate," 
— " it hath pleased thee to regenerate this infant with 
thy Holy Spirit." These expressions, with the cor- 
responding ones in the baptism of adults, were omitted. 

The following parts of the original order have been 
subsequently omitted. 

This prayer was to be said before reading the 
Gospel : — 

" Almighty and immortal God, the aid of all that need, the 
helper of all that flee to thee for succour, the life of them that 
believe, and the resurrection of the dead ; we call upon thee for 
this infant; that he, coming to thy holy baptism, may receive 
remission of his sins by spiritual regeneration. Receive him, 



Sec. 2.] . Ministration of Baptism of Infants. 217 

O Lord, as thou hast promised by thy well-beloved Son, saying, 
ask, and ye shall have ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it 
shall be opened unto you : so give now unto us that ask ; let us 
that seek find ; open the gate unto us that knock ; that this in- 
fant may enjoy the everlasting benediction of thy heavenly 
washing, and may come to the eternal kingdom which thou hast 
promised by Christ our Lord. Amen.'''' 

And immediately after the Gospel, the following — 

" Almighty and everlasting God, heavenly Father, we give 
thee humble thanks, that thou hast vouchsafed to call us to 
the knowledge of thy grace and faith in thee : increase this 
knowledge, and confirm this faith in us evermore. Give thy 
Holy Spirit to this infant ; that he may be born again, and be 
made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, 
now and for ever. Amen.'''' 

After baptizing the child, the minister was to say : — 

" We receive this chjjd into the congregation . 
of Christ's flock, and do* sign him with the * Here the priest 
sign of the cross ; in token that hereafter he s r a sg ™ Q e ^ 
shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of ^id's forehead 
Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under 
his banner against sin, the world, and the devil ; and to continue 
Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end. Amen 

" Then shall the Minister say, 

" Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is 
grafted into the body of Christ's church ; let us give thanks 
unto Almighty God for these benefits, and with one accord make 
our prayers unto him, that this child may lead the rest of his life 
according to this beginning." 

And at the close of the service, this prayer : — 

"We yield thee hearty thanks, most merciful Father, that 
it hath pleased thee to receive this infant for thine own child 
by adoption, and to incorporate him into thy holy church. And 
humbly we beseech thee to grant, that he, being dead unto sin, 
and living unto righteousness, and being buried with Christ in 
his death, may crucify the old man, and utterly abolish the 
whole body of sin ; and that as he is made partaker of the death 
of thy Son, he may also be partaker of his resurrection ; so 
that finally, with the residue of thy holy church, he may be an 
inheritor of thine everlasting kingdom, through Christ our 
Lord. Amen.''' 1 



218 Ministration of Baptism of Adults. [Ch. 3. 

The changes in the original order have been as follows : 

17 86. The first three forms quoted above in small 
type were omitted. In the first prayer, the words, "didst 
sanctify water to the mystical washing away of sin," were 
altered to " didst sanctify water for this holy sacrament." 
And in the prayer immediately before baptizing, the 
clause in the original — " sanctify this water to the mys- 
tical washing away of sin" was left out. The rubric of 
1784 directed, as to the mode of baptizing, "he shall dip 
it in the water or sprinkle it therewith." That of 1786 
directed — " he shall dip it in the water or pour water 
upon it, or sprinkle it therewith." At the close was now 
added a new rubric, namely, " The minister, if he see 
it expedient, may conclude with a prayer extempore." 

179S. The following rubric was inserted at the 
beginning : — " The minister coming to the font shall 
use the following or some other exhortation suitable to 
this sacred office." The rubric respecting the mode 
of baptizing now read — " he shall sprinkle or pour 
water upon it, or if desired, immerse it in water." The 
Gospel was transposed so as immediately to precede 
the baptizing ; and in the prayer before the Gospel, the 
words " sanctify this water for this holy sacrament" 
were inserted in place of " sanctify this water to the 
mystical washing away of sin," which had been left out 
altogether in 1786. The last two of the forms quoted 
above in small type were now omitted. 

1 80S. The words, or some other exhortation suit- 
able to this sacred office, were omitted in sec. 2; and the 
following in sec. 3 : the minister shall use the following, 
or some other exhortation suitable to his holy office. 



Ministration of Baptism to such as are of Riper Years. 

The order of the Church of England contains the 
following parts, which are not in that recommended by 
Mr. Wesley, namely : — Three introductory rubrics 
respecting the preparations for baptism, and inquiring 
whether the person has been baptized before ; an ad- 
dress connected with the use of the sign of the cross, 



Sec. 2.] Ministration of Baptism of Adults. 219 

corresponding with that in the ease of infants, (see p. 
217;) an exhortation to the godfathers and godmoth- 
ers, and one to the new baptized persons ; and two 
concluding rubrics, one respecting confirmation and 
the other respecting the baptism of those who have 
passed infancy but have not arrived at years of dis- 
cretion. 

The order prepared by Mr. Wesley contained the 
following parts, which are omitted in later editions, 
namely : 

The first prayer was : — 

" Almighty and everlasting- God, who of thy great mercy didst 
save Noah and his family in the ark from perishing by water ; and 
also didst safely lead the children of Israel thy people through 
the Red Sea, figuring thereby thy holy baptism ; and by the bap- 
tism of thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan, 
didst sanctify the element of water, to the mystical washing 
away of sin ; we beseech thee for thine infinite mercies, that 
thou wilt mercifully look upon these thy servants ; wash them 
and sanctify them with the Holy Ghost ; that they being deli- 
vered from thy wrath, may be received into the ark of Christ's 
church ; and being steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and 
rooted in charity, may so pass the waves of this troublesome 
world, that finally they may come to the land of everlasting life ; 
there to reign with thee world without end, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord. Amen." 

After baptizing, the minister was to say, — 

" Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that these persons are 
grafted into the body of Christ's church ; let us give thanks unto 
Almighty God for these benefits, and with one accord make our 
prayers unto him, that they may lead the rest of their life accord- 
ing to this beginning." 

And at the close of the service this prayer, — 

" We yield thee humble thanks, heavenly Father, that thou 
hast vouchsafed to call us to the knowledge of thy grace and 
faith in thee : increase this knowledge, and confirm this faith in 
us evermore. Give thy Holy Spirit to these persons ; that being 
born again, and made heirs of everlasting salvation, through 
our Lord Jesus Christ, they may continue thy servants, and at- 
tain thy promises, through the same Lord Jesus Christ thy Son; 
who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same H0I7 
Spirit, everlastingly. Amen." 



220 Ministration of Baptism of Adults. [Ch. 3 

The alterations in this order have been as follows : — 

178H. The prayer which now immediately pre- 
cedes the Gospel was omitted. 

There was now prefixed to the prayers this rubric : 
"Then shall the minister use as many of the following 
prayers as the time will permit." And immediately 
before the ceremony of baptizing was inserted this 
rubric, " The congregation may here sing a hymn suit 
able to the occasion." In the first prayer, the words, 
" didst sanctify the element of water to the mystical 
washing away of sin," are changed to "didst sanctify 
the element of water for this holy sacrament." In the 
creed, " that he went down into hell," omitted. In the 
prayer just before baptizing, the words, " sanctify this 
water to the mystical washing away of sin," are left 
out. 

The rubric of 1784, respecting the mode of baptizing, 
was, " shall dip him in the water, or pour water upon 
him." That of 1786 was, "shall dip him in the 
water, or pour water upon him, or sprinkle him there- 
with." 

1793* The following rubric was prefixed to the 
service : " The minister shall use the following, or some 
other exhortation, suitable to this holy office." The 
forms quoted above, in small type, were left out ; 
and the prayer which now precedes the Gospel, and 
which was left out in 1786, was restored and placed in 
its present position. It originally followed the Gospel. 
The rubric respecting the mode of baptizing now read, 
" shall sprinkle or pour water upon him, (or if he shall 
desire it, shall immerse him in water.") The following 
rubric was added at the close : " Then let the minister 
conclude with extemporary prayer." 

The only alteration in the order since 1792 was in 

1836. A note was added to the creed, defining 
" holy catholic church" to be " the church of God in 
general." 



Sec. 3.] Form of Solemnization of Matrimony. 221 

SECTION III. 

The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony. 

The form recommended by Mr. Wesley omits the 
following portions of that of the Church of England, 
namely, the rubric directing what is to be done in case 
an impediment be alleged ; the ceremony of giving the 
woman to the man, and of putting on the ring, as also 
all allusion to it in other parts of the service ; the 
psalms after the blessing ; the address on the duties of 
husbands and wives, and the rubric at the close about 
the new married persons receiving the holy communion. 

The original form contains the following portions, 
which were subsequently omitted, namely, in the intro- 
ductory address, after the word " unadvisedly," it reads, 

" Lightly or wantonly to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appe- 
tites, like brute beasts that have no understanding," &c. 

And after the words, " fear of God," was the follow- 
ing passage : — 

" Duly considering the causes for which matrimony was or- 
dained. 

" First. It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be 
brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise 
of his holy name. 

" Secondly. It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to 
avoid fornication ; that such persons as have not the gift of con- 
tinency, might marry, and keep themselves undeflled members 
of Christ's body. 

" Thirdly. It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and 
comfort that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity 
and adversity." 

The following was to be said before the Lord's 
prayer : — 

" Then shall the minister say, Lord, have mercy upon us. 
" Ans. Christ, have mercy upon us. 
" Minister. Lord, have mercy upon us. 

And the following after it : — 

" Minister. O Lord, save thy servant and thy handmaid. 
"Answer. And let them put their trust in thee. 
" Minister. O Lord, send them help from thy holy place. 
15 



222 The Communion of the Sick. CCh. 3 

"Ansiver. And evermore defend them. 

" Minister. Be unto them a tower of strength. 

" Answer. From the face of their enemy. 

" Minister. Lord, hear our prayer. 

" Answer. And let our cry come unto thee." 

The following was included among the closing pray- 
ers : — 

" This Prayer next following shall be omitted, where the Woman 
is past child-bearing. 

" merciful Lord and heavenly Father, by whose gracious 
gift mankind is increased ; we beseech thee assist with thy bless- 
ing these two persons, that they may both be fruitful in the pro- 
creation of children, and also live together so long in godly love 
and honesty, that they may see their children Christianly and 
virtuously brought up, to thy praise and honour, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen.^ 

The only alterations in this form have been the fol- 
lowing : — ■ 

1786. The following qualifying clause was in- 
serted in the rubric, requiring the publication of the 
banns : — " (unless a license be procured from the pro 
per authority.)" 

17955. The preceding clause was changed to the 
following : — " (unless they be otherwise qualified ac- 
cording to law.)" 

In the introductory address the original had these 
words, " in the face of this congregation." They were 
now changed to, " in the presence of these witnesses." 
The passages in the original form, quoted above in small 
type, were now left out. 

There have been no alterations since. 

" The Communion of the Sick" 

The next form in the Sunday service was, "The 
Communion of the Sick." It was the same with that 
of the Church of England, omitting only the first and 
the three last rubrics. It was as follows : — 

" The Collect. 
" Almighty, ever-living God, maker of mankind, who dost cor- 
rect those whom thou dost love, and chastise every one whom 



Sec. 4. J The Order of the Burial of the Dead. 223 

thou dost receive ; we beseech thee to have mercy upon this thy 
servant visited with thine hand ; and to grant that he may take 
his sickness patiently, and recover his bodily health, if it be thy 
gracious will ; and that whenever his soul shall depart from the 
body, it may be without spot presented unto thee, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

" The Epistle. Heb. xii, 5, 6. 
" My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor 
faint when thou art rebuked of him : for whom the Lord loveth 
he ehasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 

" The Gospel. John v, 24. 

*' Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and 
believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not 
come into condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life. 

" After which, the elder shall proceed according to the form 
before prescribed for the holy communion, beginning at these 
words [Ye that do truly, &c] 

" At the time of the distribution of the holy sacrament, the 
elder shall first receive the communion himself, and after minis- 
ter unto them that are appointed to communicate with the sick, 
and last of all to the sick person." 

1 792. This form was left out altogether 

SECTION IV. 

The Order of the Burial of the Dead. 

The order in the Sunday service omits the following 
portions found in that of the Church of England, 
namely,— the first rubric, forbidding the office " to be 
used for any that die unbaptized, or excommunicate, 
or have laid violent hands on themselves ;" one of the 
Psalms, (thirty-ninth;) the words to be spoken while 
the earth is cast upon the body ; and the prayer fol- 
lowing the Lord's Prayer. 

It contains the following parts, which were omitted 
in 1702, namely, the Psalm (nineteeth) and the Lesson, 
(1 Cor. xi, 20, to end.) 

1792. This note was prefixed to the order: — 
" N. B. The following or some other solemn service 
shall be used." 

1848. The foregoing note was expunged. 



224 Form and Manner of making of Deacons. [Ch. 4. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FORM AND MANNER OF MAKING AND ORDAINING 
BISHOPS, ELDERS, AND DEACONS. 

The title in the form of the Church of England is, 
— " The Form and Manner of making, ordaining, and 
consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons." In 
the Sunday service it was, — " The Form and Manner 
of making and ordaining of Superintendents, Elders, 
and Deacons ;" and throughout, " superintendents" 
was used for " bishops," and " elders" for " priests." 
In the ordering of deacons and priests, the English 
rubric directed the bishop to surcease ordaining, " if 
any great crime or impediment" was objected ; the 
Sunday service, " if any crime or impediment." 

SECTION I. 

The Form and Manner of making of Deacons. 

The form recommended by Mr. Wesley omitted 
the following portions of that of the Church of England, 
namely, — the preface, the address of the bishop to the 
archdeacon, and the reply ; the passage from Acts vi, 
2-7 ; the oath of the king's supremacy ; and the 
closing rubric, respecting the qualifications for the 
priesthood. 

The English form directs the bishop to deliver to 
the ordained deacon " the New Testament ;" the Sun 
day service, " the Holy Bible." 

1^8©o The rubric in this edition directs the 
superintendent, in saying the litany, to insert a 
petition for the candidates, when he prays for the 
ministers of the gospel ; and to omit the last prayer 
and the blessing. This was to be done also in ordain- 
ing elders and superintendents. 

1792. The rubric, with reference to saying the 
litany and the service for the communion, was omitted 



Sec. 2.] Form and Manner of ordaining Elders. 225 

in all the forms. In the first question proposed to the 
candidate, the words "this office and ministration" 
changed to " the office of the ministry." The follow- 
ing question and answer were also omitted : — 
" The Superintendent. 

" Do you think that you are truly called, according to the 
will of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the ministry of the church \ 

; ' Ans. I think so." 

In the third question, .the words " or expound" in- 
serted after " read." 

There have been no changes since 1792. 

SECTION II. 

The Form and Manner of ordaining Elders. 

The form recommended by Mr. Wesley omitted 
the following portions of the form of the Church of 
England, namely, — the address of the archdeacon to 
the bishop, and his reply ; one of the Gospels ; (Matt, 
ix, 36 ;) the oath of the king's supremacy ; the second 
form, — " Come, Holy Ghost, eternal God, &c. ;" and 
the Nicene Creed. 

1792. The original address to the congregation 
began, — " Good people ;" it now began, — "Brethren." 
The original form for the ordination began, — " Receive 
the Holy Ghost for the office, &c." It was now 
changed to, — " The Lord pour upon thee the Holy 
Ghost for the office, &c. ;" though the original form 
has been retained in ordaining a bishop. The rubric 
directing the persons ordained to receive the com- 
munion was omitted here, although it has been re- 
tained in the ordination of deacons. 

There have been no changes in this form since 
1792. 

SECTION III. 

The Form of ordaining a Bishop. 

The title in the form of the Church of England is, 
— " The Form of ordaining or consecrating of an 



226 Form of ordaining a Bh rop. ' [Ch. 4. 

Archbishop or Bishop ;" in Mr. Wesley's it is, — "The 
Form of ordaining of a Superintendent." The latter 
omits the following portions of the former, namely, — 
the Epistle, (1 Tim. iii, 1-7;) one of the Gospels, 
(John xx, 19-23 ;) the Nicene Creed ; the oath of the 
king's supremacy, and the oath of obedience to the 
archbishop ; the form, " Come, Holy Ghost, eternal 
God, &c." 

1792. The rubric respecting the communion 
service was omitted. 

1808. When the elders presented the elected 
person for ordination, the original form was, — " We 
present unto you this godly man to be ordained a 
bishop." In 1808 " godly" was changed to " holy." 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 22' 



PART II. 

THE TEMPORAL ECONOMY OF THE METHODIST 
EPISCOPAL CHURCH.* 

SECTION I. 

Of the Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 

The first question of this section originally belonged 
to Part i, Sec. 3, " Of the General and Yearly Con- 
ferences," where the boundaries of the conferences 
were given in 

1796, as follows:—! 

" 1. The New-England Conference, under the di- 
rection of which shall be the affairs of our church in 
New-England, and in that part of the state of New- 
York which lies on the east side of Hudson's River : 
Provided, that if the bishops see it necessary, a con- 
ference may be held in the province of Maine. 

" 2. The Philadelphia Conference, for the direction 
of our concerns in the remainder of the state of New- 
York, in New-Jersey,»in all that part of Pennsylvania 
which lies on the east side of the Susquehannah River, 
the state of Delaware, and all the rest of the peninsula. 

" 3. The Baltimore Conference, for the remainder of 
Pennsylvania, the remainder of Maryland, and the 
Northern Neck of Virginia. 

"4. The Virginia Conference, for all that part of 
Virginia which lies on the south side of the Rappahan- 
nock River, and for all that part of North Carolina 
which lies on the north side of Cape Fear River, in- 
cluding also the circuits which are situated on the 
branches of the Yadkin. 



* The title of Part i, according to the division ordered in 1804, 
was, "The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church," but in publishing, this has been applied to the whole book 

t For the previous arrangement respecting the conferences, see 
d. 118. 



228 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

" 5. The South Carolina Conference, for South Ca- 
rolina, Georgia, and the remainder of North Carolina. 

" 6. The Western Conference, for the states of 
Kentucky and Tennessee : Provided, that the bishops 
shall have authority to appoint other yearly conferences 
in the interval of the General Conference, if a sufficiency 
of new circuits be anywhere formed for that purpose." 

1 800. The boundaries were fixed as follows : — 

" 1. The New-England Conference shall include the 
district of Maine, and all the circuits eastward and 
northward from the bounds of the New-York Confer- 
ence. 

" 2. The New-York Conference shall include that 
part of the state of New- York east of the Hudson Ri- 
ver, all Connecticut, and those parts of Massachusetts, 
New-Hampshire, and Vermont, which are included 
in the New-York and New-London districts. 

" 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Virgi- 
nia, South Carolina, and Western Conferences" — as 
before. 

The proviso added as before. 

1804. This subject was transferred to Part ii, 
Sec. 1, as follows : — 

" 1. The New-England Conference shall include the 
district of Maine, and the Boston, New-London, and 
Vermont districts. 

"2. The New-York Conference comprehending the 
New-York, Pittsfield, Albany, and Upper Canada dis- 
tricts. 

"3. The Philadelphia Conference" — as before, only 
insert, after " Susquehannah River," " except what be- 
longs to the Susquehannah district." 

" 4. The Baltimore Conference" — as before, except 
the addition of " the Green Briar district." 

" 5. The Virginia Conference" — as before, except, 
after " Rappahannock River" insert, " east of the Blue 
Ridge," after "Cape Fear River" insert, "except Wil- 
mington." 

" 6. The South Carolina Conference" — as before 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 229 

" 7. The Western Conference shall include the 
states 4 of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, and that 
part of Virginia which lies west of the great river Ken- 
hawa, with the Illinois and -the Natchez." 

The proviso added as before. 

1 808. The description of the boundaries was the 
same, with the following exceptions : — 

In the New-York Conference, " Cayuga" is named 
as one of the districts. 

The Susquehannah district is included in the Phila- 
delphia Conference. 

In the Baltimore Conference, " Carlisle district" is 
named. 

The proviso added as before. 

1 8 1 2. The boundaries were altered as follows : — 

" 1. The Ohio Conference shall include Ohio, Mus- 
kingum, Miami, Kentucky, and Salt River districts. 

" 2. The Tennessee Conference shall include Hol- 
ston, Nashville, Cumberland, Wabash, Illinois, and 
Mississippi districts. 

" 3. The South Carolina Conference shall include 
Georgia, South Carolina, and that part of North Caro- 
lina not included in the Virginia and Tennessee Con- 
ferences. 

" 4. The Virginia Conference shall include the cir- 
cuits situated on the branches of the Yadkin, and that 
part of North Carolina on the north side of Cape Fear 
River, (except Wilmington,) and that part of Virginia 
on the south side of the Rappahannock, and east of 
the Blue Ridge. 

" 5. The Baltimore Conference shall include the re- 
maining part of Virginia not included in the Tennessee 
and Virginia Conferences, the Western Shore of Ma- 
ryland, and that part of Pennsylvania east of the Ohio 
River, and west of the Susquehannah, not included in 
the Genesee Conference. 

" 6. The Philadelphia Conference shall include the 
whole of the peninsula between the Chesapeake and 
Delaware Bays, and all that part of Pennsylvania lying 



230 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

between the Delaware and Susquehannah Rivers, (ex- 
cept what is included in the Genesee Conference,) and 
all the state of New-Jersey, with Staten Island. 

" 7. The New-York Conference shall include all 
the state of New-York not included in the Genesee and 
Philadelphia Conferences, that part of Connecticut and 
Massachusetts west of the Connecticut River, and that 
part of Vermont lying west of the Green Mountain. 

" 8. The New-England Conference shall include 
the remaining part of Vermont, and all the New-Eng- 
land states east of Connecticut River. 

" 9. The Genesee Conference shall include the 
bounds of the Susquehannah, Cayuga, and Upper and 
Lower Canada districts. Provided, nevertheless, the 
bishops have authority, in the interval of the General 
Conference, to appoint another annual conference down 
the Mississippi, if they judge it necessary. Provided, 
also, that they have authority to appoint another annual 
conference, in the interval of the General Confer- 
ence, if a sufficient number of new circuits be any- 
where formed ; but no district or circuit shall be added 
to such new conference, without the consent of the old 
conference to which it belongs." 

1816. The Ohio Conference — as before, except 
that part of Scioto district is substituted for Salt River. 

" 2. The Missouri Conference shall be bounded by 
the Ohio Conference on the north, by the Ohio and 
Mississippi Rivers on the east, and by the Arkansas 
River on the south. 

" 3. The Tennessee Conference" — as before, except 
that " Wabash, Illinois, and Mississippi districts" are 
struck out, and " Salt River and Green River" inserted. 

"4. The Mississippi Conference shall include all the 
state of Louisiana south of the Arkansas, and all the 
Mississippi Territory south of Tennessee River. 

" 5. The South Carolina Conference" — as before. 

" 6. The Virginia Conference" — as before, with the 
addition of these words at the end, " except Fredericks- 
burg." 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 231 

" 7. The Baltimore Conference" — as before. 

" 8. The Philadelphia Conference" — as before, with 
the addition of these words, " And so much of the 
state of New-York as now is, or at any time may be, 
attached to the Bergen and Hamburg districts." 

"9. The New-York Conference" — as before, with the 
addition of these words, " With that part of Lower Ca- 
nada between Lake Champlain and Magog." 

" 10. The New-England Conference" — as before, 
with the addition of the following words, " And that 
part of Lower Canada east of Lake Magog." 

"11. The Genesee Conference" — as before, except 
that " Oneida, Genesee, and Chenango" districts are 
substituted for " Cayuga." 

The first proviso is struck out, and the other reads, 
"Provided, that the bishops shall have authority to ap- 
point other annual conferences, in the interval of the 
General Conference, if the number of circuits should 
increase so as, in their judgment, to require it." 

1820. " 1. The Ohio Conference shall com- 
mence at the town of Madison, on the Ohio River, state 
of Indiana, thence, running due north to the nearest 
point on Lake Michigan, shall include the whole of the 
Michigan Territory. Thence running down Lake Erie 
to the town of Erie, thence to Waterford, on French 
Creek, thence down French Creek to the Alleghany 
River, thence down the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers to 
the place of beginning. 

" 2. The Missouri Conference shall include that 
part of the state of Indiana not included in the Ohio 
Conference, the states of Illinois and Missouri, and the 
Territory of Arkansas. 

" 3. The Kentucky Conference shall include the 
Kentucky, Salt River, Green River, and Cumberland 
districts, and that part of the state of Virginia included 
in the Green Briar and Munroe circuits, heretofore be- 
longing to the Baltimore. Conference, and the little Ken 
hawa and Middle Island circuits, heretofore belonging 
to the Ohio Conference. 



232 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

" 4. The Tennessee Conference shall include the 
Nashville, French Broad, and Holston districts, toge- 
ther with the New River circuit, heretofore belonging 
to the Baltimore Conference, and that part of Tennes- 
see district north of Tennessee River. 

" 5. The Mississippi Conference shall include the 
states of Mississippi and Louisiana, and all that part of 
the state of Alabama south of Tennessee River. 

" 6. The South Carolina Conference" — as before. 

" 7. The Virginia Conference" — as before. 

" 8. The Baltimore Conference shall include the re- 
maining part of Virginia, not included in the Virginia, 
Philadelphia, Kentucky, and Tennessee Conferences, 
the Western Shore of Maryland, and that part of Penn- 
sylvania east of the Ohio River,, and west of the Sus- 
quehannah, together with the Bald Eagle, Lycoming, 
Northumberland, and Shamokin circuits, heretofore 
belonging to the Genesee Conference. 

" 9. The Philadelphia Conference" — as before, ex- 
cept that "Baltimore and" is inserted before " Genesee." 

" 10. The New-York Conference" — as before. 

"11. The New-England Conference" — as before. 

" 12. The Genesee Conference shall include the 
Oneida, Genesee, Chenango, Seneca, and Upper and 
Lower Canada districts, the Chautauque and Lake 
circuits, heretofore belonging to the Ohio Conference, 
and that part of Susquehannah district not included in 
the Baltimore Conference." 

The following provisos were added to the previous 
one : — 

" Provided, 2d, that the bishops be, and are hereby 
authorized, by and with the advice and consent of the 
New-England Conference, to form a new conference 
in the eastern part of the New-England Conference, 
in the interval between this and the next General Con- 
ference, if they shall judge it to be expedient. 

" Provided, 3d, that the episcopacy, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Genesee Conference, if 
£hey judge it expedient, previous to the sitting of the 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 233 

next General Conference, shall have authority to esta- 
blish a conference in Canada." 

1824. "1. The Maine Conference shall include 
all the state of Maine, and that part of the state of 
New-Hampshire lying east of the White Hills, and 
north of the waters of the Ossipie Lake. 

" 2. The New-England Conference shall include 
the remaining part of the state of New-Hampshire, 
that part of Vermont lying east of the Green Moun- 
tains, those parts of the states of Massachusetts and 
Connecticut lying east of Connecticut River, and all the 
state of Rho'de Island. 

" 3. The New-York Conference" — as before, except 
the omission of these words, " And that part of Lower 
Canada between Lakes Champlain and Magog." 

"4. The Genesee Conference shall include the 
Oneida, Black River, Chenango, Susquehannah, On- 
tario, Genesee, and Erie districts, and Sharon circuit, 
from New-York, except that part of Erie district south 
west of Cattaraugus Creek. 

" 5. The Canada Conference shall include all the 
upper province of Canada. 

" 6. The Pittsburgh Conference shall commence at 
the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek, on Lake Erie, thence 
to Olean Point, on Alleghany River, thence eastward 
to the top of the Alleghany Mountains, thence along 
the said mountains southward to the head of Tygert's 
Valley, thence to the Ohio River, so as to include the 
Middle Island and Little Kenhawa circuits, thence up 
said river to the mouth of Little Muskingum, thence 
to the mouth of White Woman, so as to include Mon- 
roe, Barnesville, and Duck Creek circuits, thence 
north-eastward between the waters of Tuscarawas and 
Mohicken to Lake Erie, near the mouth of Kuyahauga, 
so as to include Tuscarawas and Canton circuits, thence 
down the lake to the mouth of Cattaraugus. 

" 7. The Ohio Conference shall include the remain- 
ing part of the state of Ohio, the territory of Michigan, 
and the Kenhawa. 



234 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. IPart 2. 

" 8. The Illinois Conference shall include the states 
of Indiana and Illinois. 

" 9. The Missouri Conference shall include the 
state of Missouri and Arkansas Territory. 

" 10. The Kentucky Conference shall include the 
state of Kentucky, and that part of the state of Ten- 
nessee lying north of the Cumberland River. 

"11. The Tennessee Conference shall include all 
that part of the state of Tennessee lying south of Cum- 
berland River, and west of the Cumberland Mountains, 
and that part of the state of Alabama lying north of the 
mountains which divide the waters of Mobile Bay from 
the Tennessee River. 

" 12. The Holston Conference shall include the re- 
maining part of the state of Tennessee lying east of 
the Cumberland Mountains, and that part of Virginia 
and North Carolina embraced in the Holston district, 
and the Black Mountain and French Broad circuits, 
formerly belonging to the South Carolina Conference. 

" 13. The Mississippi Conference shall include the 
states of Mississippi and Louisiana, that part of Ala- 
bama not included in Tennessee Conference, and all 
West Florida. 

" 14. The South Carolina Conference shall include 
all South Carolina, Georgia, East Florida, and that part 
of North Carolina not included in the Virginia and 
Holston Conferences. 

" 15. The Virginia Conference" — as before. 

" 16. The Baltimore Conference shall include the 
remaining part of Virginia not included in the Virginia, 
Holston, Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia Confer- 
ences, the Western Shore of Maryland, and that part 
of Pennsylvania lying east of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains, and west of Susquehannah River, including Nor- 
thumberland district. 

" 17. The Philadelphia Conference" — as before. 

The provisos now read as follows : — 

" Provided, that the bishops be, and they are here- 
by authorized, with the advice and consent of the South 



Sec. l.J Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 235 

Carolina and Mississippi Conferences, to form a new 
conference of such sections of country as may be in- 
cluded in those conferences. 

" Provided, also, that the bishops shall have autho- 
rity to appoint other annual conferences, if the number 
of circuits should so increase as, in their judgment, to 
require it." 

1838. The boundaries remained the same as in 
1824, with the following exceptions : — 

" 10. The Kentucky Conference shall include the 
state of Kentucky, except so much of said state as lies 
west of the Tennessee River. 

"11. The Tennessee Conference shall include all 
that part of the state of Tennessee lying west of the 
Cumberland Mountains, and that part of the state of 
Kentucky lying west of the Tennessee River, and that 
part of the state of Alabama" — &c, as before. 

" 15. Virginia Conference," Port Royal is men- 
tioned, with Fredericksburg, as not included. 

The following proviso was substituted for those of 
1824:— 

" Provided, that the bishops or bishop attending 
the following conferences, with the advice and consent 
of the said conferences respectively, be, and hereby 
are authorized to form new conferences, as follows, 
namely : — 

" From the South Carolina Conference, of any sec- 
tion of country included in said conference : from the 
Mississippi Conference, of any section of country in- 
cluded in said conference : or, on the joint recommend- 
ation of the South Carolina and Mississippi Confer- 
ences, to form one new conference, from any section of 
country within the bounds of the said conferences : also, 
at the joint request of the New-York and New-Eng- 
land Conferences, to form a new conference within 
the bounds of said conferences : and, with the advice 
and consent of the Genesee Conference, to form a new 
conference in any section of country now within the 
bounds of said conference." 



238 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

1839* The boundaries were fixed as follows : — 

" 1. The New- York Conference shall include the 
New-York, New-Haven, Rhinebeck, and Hudson River 
districts, Hudson station, and Ghent and Lee circuits. 

" 2. The New-England Conference shall include 
all the state of Massachusetts lying east of the Green 
Mountains not included in the New-Hampshire Con- 
ference, and that part of Connecticut lying east of Con- 
necticut River, and all the state of Rhode Island. 

" 3. Maine Conference" — as before. 

"4. New-Hampshire Conference shall include all 
the state of New-Hampshire not included in the Maine 
Conference, that part of the state of Vermont east of 
the Green Mountains, and that part of the state of 
Massachusetts north-east of the Merrimack River. 

"5. Troy Conference shall include the Saratoga, 
Middlebury, and Plattsburg districts, and that part of 
Troy district not included in the New- York Confer- 
ence. 

" 6. Oneida Conference shall include that part of the 
state of New-York east of Cayuga Lake not included 
in the New-York and Troy Conferences, and the Sus- 
quehannah district in the state of Pennsylvania. 

" 7. Genesee Conference shall include that part of 
the state of New-York west of Cayuga Lake not in- 
cluded in the Pittsburg, and the Tioga, Loyalsock and 
Wellsborough circuits, in the state of Pennsylvania. 

" 8. Pittsburg Conference" — as, before, with the fol- 
lowing exceptions, namely : — 

For "the Middle Island and Little Kenhawa cir- 
cuits," read " Middleburn circuit." For " Monroe, 
Barnesville, and Duck Creek circuits," read " Wood- 
field, Summerfleld, and Freeport circuits." For " Tus- 
carawas," read " Leesburg." 

" 9. Ohio Conference shall include the remainder of 
the state of Ohio, except Elizabethtown, that part of 
Virginia contained in the Kenhawa district, and the 
Territory of Michigan, except St. Joseph's and Kala- 
mazoo missions. 



JSec. I.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 237 

"10. Indiana Conference shall include the state of 
Indiana, (except so much as is included in the Illinois 
Conference,) Elizabethtown, in the state of Ohio, and 
the St. Joseph's and Kalamazoo missions in Michigan 
Territory. 

"11. Illinois Conference shall include the state cf 
Illinois, the Paris and Eugene circuits, in the state of 
Indiana, and the North Western Territory. 

" 12. Missouri Conference shall include the state of 
Missouri, the Missouri and Arkansas Territories. 

" 13. Kentucky Conference" — as before. 

"14. Tennessee Conference shall include West 
Tennessee, and that part of Kentucky lying west of 
Tennessee River, and North Alabama. 

"15. Holston Conference shall include East Ten- 
nessee, and that part of the state of Georgia lying north 
of the Blue Ridge, and also what is now embraced in 
the Tugulo and Pickens circuits, and those parts of 
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia included 
in the Ashville and Abingdon districts. 

" 16. Mississippi Conference shall include the state 
of Louisiana, and that part of Mississippi lying west of 
the dividing ridge between Pearl and Leaf Rivers, and 
thence with the said ridge between Mississippi and 
Tombeckbee to the Tennessee line. 

" 17. Alabama Conference shall include South Ala- 
bama, that part of Mississippi not included in Missis- 
sippi Conference, and West Elorida. 

" 18. Georgia Conference shall include the state of 
Georgia, (except what is embraced in the Holston 
Conference,) East* and Middle Florida. 

" 19. South Carolina Conference shall include the 
state of South Carolina, (except so much as is included 
ir. the Tugulo, Greenville, and Pickens circuits,) and 
that part of North Carolina not included in the Virgi- 
nia and Holston Conferences. 

" 20. Virginia Conference" — as before. 

" 21. Baltimore Conference" — as before, except that 
after the words "Western Shore of Maryland," is added, 

16 



238 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

" except a small portion included in the Pittsburgh 
Conference." 

" 22. Philadelphia Conference" — as before, except 
for " Genesee," read " Oneida," and for " Bergen," 
read " Haverstraw." 

The usual proviso is omitted from this time forward 

1 8 36. The boundaries were fixed as follows .-— 

" 1. The New-York Conference shall embrace all 
that territory now included in the New-York, White - 
Plains, New-Haven, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Dela- 
ware, and Newburgh districts." 

" 2, 3, 4, New-England, Maine, and New-Hamp- 
shire Conferences" — as before. 

"5. Troy Conference shall include the Albany, 
Middlebury, Plaltsburgh, and Troy districts. 

" 6. Black River Conference shall include that part 
of the state of New-York west of the Troy Confer- 
ence, not included in the Genesee Conference as far 
south as the Erie Canal, and all the societies on the 
immediate banks of said canal except Utica. 

" 7. Oneida Conference" — as before, except the, in- 
sertion of " Black River" after " Troy." 

" 8. Genesee Conference" — as before, except that 
" Pittsburgh" is changed to " Erie." " Tioga" is struck 
out, and " Sugar Creek" and " Sraethport" inserted. 

" 9. Erie Conference shall be bounded on the north 
by Lake Erie, on the east by a line commencing at the 
mouth of Cattaraugus Creek, thence to the Alleghany 
River at the mouth of Tunanquant Creek, thence up 
said creek eastward to the ridge dividing between the 
waters of Clarion and Sinnamahoning Creeks, thence 
east to the head of Mahoning Creek, thence down said 
creek to the Alleghany River, thence across said river 
in a north-westerly direction to the western reserve 
line, including the north part of Butler and New-Cas 
tie circuits, thence west to the Ohio Canal, thence along 
said canal to Lake Erie, including Ohio city. 

"10. Pittsburgh Conference shall be bounded on 
the north by the Erie Conference, on the east bv the 



Sec. 1.3 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 239 

Alleghany Mountains, on the south by a line stretch- 
ing from the head of Tygert's Valley to the Ohio River 
at the mouth of the Little Muskingum, embracing Mid- 
dleburn circuit and Hughes' River mission, thence to 
the Muskingum River, embracing Woodfield and 
M'Connelsville circuits, thence on the west to the 
mouth of White Woman Creek, embracing Summer- 
field and Freeport circuits, thence north-east to the 
Ohio Canal, embracing Dover circuit, and thence to the 
line of Erie Conference. 

"11. Michigan Conference shall embrace all that 
part of the state of Ohio not included in the Pittsburg, 
Erie, Ohio, and Indiana Conferences, and all the Terri- 
tory of Michigan, except so much as is included in the 
Laporte district, Indiana Conference. 

" 12. Ohio Conference shall commence at the mouth 
of the Great Miami River, thence running north with 
the state line, as far as the north line of Darke county, 
excluding Elizabethtown, thence eastwardly, so as to 
include Lebanon, Urbana, Columbus, and Zanesville 
districts ; thence down the Muskingum River so as to 
include Marietta circuit, and Kenhawa district in Vir- 
ginia, thence down the Ohio River to the place of be- 
ginning. 

" 13. Indiana Conference shall include the state of 
Indiana, except so much as is included in the Illinois 
Conference, Elizabethtown in the state of Ohio, and 
that part of Michigan Territory now included in the 
Laporte district. 

" 14. Illinois Conference shall include the state of 
Illinois, and that part of Indiana included in the Dan- 
ville and Eugene circuits, the Wisconsin Territory 
north of the state west of Lake Michigan, and also that 
part of said territory west of Mississippi, commonly 
called the Black Hawk Purchase. 

" 15. Missouri Conference shall include the state of 
Missouri, and that part of Missouri Territory which 
lies north of the Cherokee line. 

" 16. Arkansas Conference shall include the Arkan- 



540 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

sas Territory, that part of Missouri Territory lying 
south of the Cherokee line ; also so much of the state 
of Louisiana as is now included in the Louisiana dis- 
trict." 

" 17, 18. Kentucky and Tennessee Conferences" — as 
before. 

" 19. Holston Conference" — as before, except for 
" lying north of the Blue Ridge," read, " now embraced 
in the Newtown district." " North Carolina" is struck 
out. 

" 20. Mississippi Conference shall include all the 
state of Mississippi, except what is embraced in the 
range of counties on the east boundary of the state, 
namely, Jackson, Greene, Wayne, Clarke, Lauderdale, 
Kemper, Noxaber, Lownds, and Munroe, and that part 
of the state of Louisiana not included in the Arkansas 
Conference." 

"21, 22. Alabama and Georgia Conferences" — as 
before. 

" 23. South Carolina Conference" — as before, except 
for last clause read, " that part of North Carolina now 
included in the Wilmington and Lincolnton districts." 

" 24. North Carolina Conference shall be bounded 
on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north by 
Albemarle Sound, Roanoke and Staunton Rivers, on 
the west by the top of the Blue Ridge, including the 
counties of Wilks and Iredell, on the south by the south 
lines of Iredell, Rowan, Davidson, Randolph, and 
Chatham, thence by Cape Fear River, except those 
appointments now included in the Wilmington and Lin- 
colnton districts. 

" 25. Virginia Conference shall be bounded on the 
east by Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, on 
the south by Albemarle Sound, Roanoke and Staunton 
Rivers, on the west by the Blue Ridge, on the north by 
the Rappahannock River, except Fredericksburg and 
Port Royal. 

" 26. Baltimore Conference" — as before. 

"27. Philadelphia Conference" — as before, except 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 241 

that all after " conferences" is struck out, and " New 
Jersey" inserted before it. 

" 28. New-Jersey Conference shall include the 
whole state of New- Jersey, Staten Island, and so 
much of the states of New-York and Pennsylvania as 
is now included in the Asbury district. 

" 29. There shall be an annual conference on the 
western coast of Africa, to be denominated The Libe- 
ria Mission Annual Conference, possessing all the 
rights, powers, and privileges of other annual confer 
ences, except that of sending delegates to the General 
Conference, and of drawing its annual dividend from 
the avails of the Book Concern and of the Chartered 
Fund." 

1 840. The boundaries were fixed as follows : — 

" 1. The New-York Conference" — as before, except 
" Hartford" district inserted. 

" 2. Providence Conference shall include that part 
of the state of Connecticut lying east of the Connecti- 
cut River, all the state of Rhode Island, and that part 
of the state of Massachusetts lying south-east of a line 
drawn from the north-east corner of the state of Rhode 
Island to the mouth of the Neponset River, which line 
shall so run as to leave the Walpole station within the 
bounds of the Providence Conference. 

" 3. New-England Conference shall include all the 
state of Massachusetts lying east of the Green Mount- 
ains not embraced in the New-York, New-Hampshire, 
and Providence Conferences." 

4, 5. Maine and New-Hampshire Conferences — as 
before. 

" 6. Troy Conference shall include the Albany, 
Troy, Pouitney, Burlington, and Plattsburg districts. 

" 7. Black River Conference" — as before, except the 
addition, at the end, of the words, " and Canistota." 

"8. Oneida Conference" — as before. 

" 9. Genesee Conference shall include that part of 
the state of New-York lying west of a line running 
south from Lake Ontario, by way of Cayuga Lake, to 



242 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

Pennsylvania, not embraced in the Erie Conference, 
and so much of the north part of the state of Pennsyl- 
vania as is included in Seneca Lake, Dansville, and 
Cattaraugus districts. 

"10. Erie Conference" — as before, except " Ohio 
city" changed to " Cleveland city." 

"11. Pittsburg Conference shall be bounded on the 
north by the Erie Conference, on the east by the Alle- 
ghany Mountains, on the south by a line stretching 
from the head of Tygert's Valley to the Ohio River, so 
as to embrace Middleburn circuit and Kenhawa mis- 
sion, thence to the mouth of the Muskingum River, 
and up said river, exclusive of the towns of Marietta 
and Zanesville, to the Tuscarawas River, and thence 
up said river to the line of the Erie Conference. 

" 12. Ohio Conference shall commence at the mouth 
of the Great Miami River, running north with the state 
line to the line of Dark county, excluding Elizabeth- 
town, thence eastwardly along the line of the North 
Ohio Conference, so as to exclude the circuits of 
Greenville, Sidney, (except Westville and M'Farlands,) 
Belfontaine, Allen mission, Richwood, Marion, Dela- 
ware, and Roscow, to the Muskingum River, thence 
down said river so as to include the towns of Zanes- 
ville and Marietta, and Kenhawa district, in Virginia, 
thence down the Ohio River to the place of beginning. 

" 13. North Ohio Conference shall embrace all that 
part of the state of Ohio not included in the Ohio, Pitts- 
burg, and Erie Conferences. 

" 14. Michigan Conference shall include the state of 
Michigan. 

" 15. Indiana Conference shall include all the state 
of Indiana, and Elizabethtown in Ohio. 

" 16. Rock River Conference shall include that part 
of the state of Illinois not embraced in the Illinois Con- 
ference, and the Wisconsin and Iowa Territories. 

" 17. Illinois Conference shall include the state of 
Illinois, except that part north of the following Jine, 
namely — Beginning at the mouth of Rock River, 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 243 

thence up said river to the mouth of Green River, 
thence up said river to the Winnebago Swamp, thence 
down the south branch of the Bureau River to the 
Illinois River, thence up said river to the mouth of the 
Kankakee, thence up the Kankakee River to the east 
line of the state of Illinois." 

18, 19. Missouri and Kentucky Conferences — as 
before. 

; ' 20. Holston Conference shall include East Ten- 
nessee and that part of the states of Georgia, South 
Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, now embraced 
in the Newtown, Ashville, Wytheville, Abingdon, and 
Greenville districts. 

"21. Tennessee Conference shall include Middle 
Tennessee and North Alabama. 

" 22. Memphis Conference shall be bounded on the 
east by the Tombigbee River. Alabama state line, and 
Tennessee River, on the north by the Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi Rivers, west by the Mississippi River, and 
south by a line running due east from the Mississippi 
River to the south-west corner of Tallahatchie county, 
thence due east to the south-eastern corner of Yalla- 
busha county, thence in a straight line to the north- 
western corner of Oktibaha county, thence due east to 
the Tombigbee River. 

" 23. Arkansas Conference shall include the state of 
xVrkansas, that part of Missouri Territory south of the 
Cherokee line, and so much of Texas as is now em- 
braced in the Red River district. 

" 24. Texas Conference shall include the republic 
of Texas, except what is embraced in the Red River 
district, Arkansas Conference. 

" 25. Mississippi Conference shall include all that 
part of the state of Mississippi not embraced in the 
Alabama and Memphis Conferences, and all the state 
of Louisiana. 

" 26. Alabama Conference shall include South Ala- 
bama, West Florida, and the counties of Jackson, 
Greene, AYayne, Clarke, Lauderdale, Kemper, Noxu- 



214 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2„ 

bee, Lowndes, and that part of Monroe east of the 
Tombigbee River, in the state of Mississippi." 

27, 28. Georgia and South Carolina Conferences — - 
as before, the phraseology only being slightly altered. 

29, 30, 31 , 32. North Carolina, Virginia, Baltimore, and 
Philadelphia — as before. 33. New-Jersey — as before, 
except" Asbury district" changed to "Paterson district." 

34. Liberia Mission Annual Conference — as before. 

1 844. The boundaries were fixed as follows : — 

1. New-York Conference — as before, except for 
" White Plains" (district) read " Long Island" (district.) 

2, 3, 4, 5. Providence, New-England, Maine — as 
before ; New-Hampshire — as before, except " that part 
of the state of Vermont east of the Green Mountains," 
which was erected into a distinct conference. 

" 6. Vermont Conference shall include the state of 
Vermont, except that part lying west of the top of the 
Green Mountains, embraced in the Troy Conference." 

" 7. Troy Conference shall include Troy, Albany, 
(including Sharon and Cobleskill circuits, formerly 
embraced in the Oneida Conference,) Saratoga, Poult- 
ney, Burlington, and Plattsburgh districts." 

8. Black River Conference — as before, with the 
addition of " Montezuma and Port Byron," at the end. 

9. Oneida Conference — as before, only "Susque- 
hanna district" altered to "Susquehanna and Wyoming 
districts." 

10. Genesee Conference — as before. 

11. Erie Conference — as before, with the insertion 
of "Akron and" before " Cleveland city." 

12. Pittsburgh Conference — as before, only " Mid- 
dleburn circuit and Kanawha mission" changed to 
" Kanawha circuit." 

13. Ohio Conference — as before, striking out "ex- 
cept Westville and M'Farland," and " Allen mission." 

14. North Ohio Conference — as before. 

15. Michigan Conference includes the state of Michi- 
gan, and the Ojibway missions on the waters of Lake Su- 
perior, formerly embraced in Rock River Conference 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 245 

" 16. Indiana Conference shall include that part of 
the state of Indiana south of the National Road, with 
Elizabethtown in Ohio, and the western charge in In- 
dianapolis, with all the towns that are immediately on 
the road to the state line, except Terre Haute. 

" 17. North Indiana Conference shall include that 
part of the state of Indiana north of the National Road, 
the eastern charge in Indianapolis, with all the towns 
that are immediately on the road to the eastern line of 
the state, together with Terre Haute in the west. 

" 18. Rock River Conference shall include that part 
of the state of Illinois not embraced in the Illinois 
Conference, and the Wisconsin Territory." 

19. Iowa Conference includes all Iowa Territory. 

" 20. Illinois Conference shall include that part of 
the state of Illinois south of the following line, namely : 
beginning at Warsaw on the Mississippi River, and 
running thence to Augusta, thence to Doddsville, 
thence to the mouth of Spoon River, thence to Bloom- 
ington, thence to Danville, thence to the Indiana state 
line, embracing Warsaw town, Havanna mission, 
Bloomington station, and Danville circuit." 

21 . Missouri Conference includes the state of Missouri. 

" 22. Indian Mission Conference shall be bounded as 
follows, namely : on the north by the Missouri River, 
east by the states of Missouri and Arkansas, south by 
Red River, and west by the Rocky Mountains." 

23. Kentucky Conference — as before. 

11 24. Holston Conference shall include East Tennes- 
see, that part of the state of North Carolina now embraced 
in the Ashville and Wytheville districts, and so much of 
the state of Virginia as is now embraced in the Wythe- 
ville district, and the districts lying west of New River. 

" 25. Tennessee Conference shall include Middle 
Tennessee, and that part of North Alabama watered 
by those streams flowing into the Tennessee River." 

26. Memphis Conference — as before. 

" 27. Arkansas Conference shall include the state 
of Arkansas. 



246 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

" 28. Eastern Texas Conference shall embrace all 
that part of the Republic of Texas east of a line begin- 
ning at the east pass of the Bay of Galveston, thence 
through said bay to the mouth of Trinity River, thence up 
said river to the source of the middle fork of the same. 

" 29. Western Texas Conference shall embrace all 
that part of the Republic of Texas lying west of the 
Trinity River, including Galveston Island." 

30. Mississippi Conference — as before. 

"31. Alabama Conference shall include all that part 
of the state of Alabama not included in the Tennessee 
Conference, West Florida, and the counties of Jackson, 
Greene, Wayne, Clark, Lauderdale, Kemper, Noxubee, 
Lowndes, and that part of Monroe east of the Tombig- 
bee River, in the state of Mississippi. 

" 32. Georgia Conference shall include all the state 
of Georgia, except that part which lies south of a line 
commencing at Fort Gaines on the Chattahoochee River, 
running thence in a direct line to Albany, on Flint 
River, thence along the line of Ocmulgee and Flint 
River Rail Road to the Ocmulgee River, thence down 
said river to the Altamaha, thence down the Altamaha 
to the Atlantic Ocean, and also that part of North 
Carolina embraced in Murphy circuit, Lafayette district. 

" 33. Florida Conference shall include all that part 
of the state of Georgia not included in the Georgia 
Conference, and East and Middle Florida. 

" 34. South Carolina Conference shall include the 
state of South Carolina, and so much of North Carolina as 
is included in the Lincolnton and Wilmington districts." 

35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. North Carolina, Virginia, 
Baltimore, Philadelphia, New-Jersey, and Liberia Mis- 
sion Annual Conference — all as before. 

1848. Boundaries fixed as follows : — 

1. New-York Conference now consists of " the ter 
ritory included in the Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Dela 
ware, and Newburgh Districts, and that part of New- 
York District lying north and west of the charges of 
Norwalk, Stamford, Poundridge, Highridge, New- 



Sec. 1 .] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 247 

Canaan, Greenwich, King-street, Port Chester, Rye, 
New-Rochelle, Eastchester, Westchester, and West 
Farms, in Westchester county, and the state of. Con- 
necticut, and of those charges in the city of New-York 
lying north and west of a line running through the 
Third Avenue, Bowery, Chatham-street, and Broad- 
way, to the Battery." 

2, New-York East (a new) Conference " consists of 
the territory now included in the Hartford, New-Haven, 
and Long Island Districts, and that part of the New- 
York District not included in the New-York Confer- 
ence." 

3, (formerly 2.) Providence Conference remains 
unaltered. 

4, (formerly 3.) New-England Conference is altered 
only by the omission of the word New-York. 

5, (formerly 4.) Maine Conference is now made to 
include that " part of the state of Maine lying west of 
the Kennebeck River, from the mouth to the Great 
Bend below Skowhegan, and of a line running from 
thence north to the state line, (including Skowhegan 
and Augusta stations, in Maine Conference,) and that 
part of New-Hampshire lying east of the White Hills, 
and north of the waters of the Ossipee Lake." 

6, East Maine (new) Conference includes " that 
part of the state of Maine not included in the Maine 
Conference." 

7, (formerly 5.) New-Hampshire Conference is un- 
altered. 

8, (formerly 6.) Vermont Conference unchanged. 

9, (formerly 7.) Troy Conference is made to include 
" the Troy, (embracing Kinderhook circuit,) Albany, 
Saratoga, Poultney, Burlington, Pittsburgh, and St. 
Alban's Districts." 

10, (formerly 8.) Black River Conference is altered 
only by the addition of the word "East" before Genesee. 

11, (formerly 9.) Oneida Conference is unchanged. 

12, East Genesee (new) Conference embraces " all 
that part of the state of New-York west of the Black 



248 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

River and Oneida Conferences, and east of the Gene- 
see River, including the whole of the city of Rochester, 
together with so much of the State of Pennsylvania as 
is embraced in the Seneca Lake and Wellsborough 
Districts, and Ulysses circuit." 

13, (formerly 10,) Genesee Conference "includes 
all that part of the State of New-York west of the East 
Genesee Conference, except so much as is included in 
the Erie Conference, and also Smethport and Couders- 
port circuits, in Pennsylvania." 

14, (formerly 11,) Erie Conference, bounded as be- 
fore on the north and east, "thence up said creek to 
the village of Lodi, leaving said village in the Genesee 
Conference — thence to the Alleghany River, at the 
mouth of Tunanquant Creek — thence up said creek 
eastward to the ridge dividing between the waters of 
Clarion and Sinnamahoning Creeks — thence east to the 
head of Mahoning Creek — thence down said creek to 
the Alleghany River — thence across said river in a north- 
westerly direction to the Western Reserve line, in- 
cluding the north part of Butler and New-Castle cir- 
cuits, except Petersburgh — thence west to the Ohio 
canal — thence along said canal to Lake Erie, including 
Akron and Cleveland city." 

15, (formerly 12,) Pittsburgh Conference is "bounded 
on the north by the Erie Conference — on the east, by a 
line running along the top of the Alleghany Mountains 
to the southern line of the State of Pennsylvania — 
thence west along said line to the south-west corner of 
said State — thence the nearest way to Fish Creek — 
thence down said creek to the Ohio River — thence down 
the Ohio River to the mouth of the Muskingum River — 
thence up said river, exclusive of the towns of Marietta 
and Zanesville to the Tuscarawas River — thence up said 
river, exclusive of the town of Massillon, to the line 
of the Erie Conference." 

16, (formerly 13,) Ohio Conference. Boundaries 
the same as before, " except Westville and M'Far- 
land ;" and instead of the Kanaioha District, it is made 



Sec.].] Boundaries of the Aitnuu I Conferences. 249 

to " include all that part of Kentucky lying south of 
the State of Ohio." 

17, Western Virginia, (a new Conference,) is made 
to include "the whole of Western Virginia, and so 
much of the Western Shore of Maryland as is not in- 
cluded in the Baltimore and Pittsburgh Conferences." 

18, (formerly 14,) North Ohio Conference is not 
altered. 

19, (formerly 15,) Michigan Conference as before. 

20, (formerly 16,) Indiana Conference is altered only 
by adding the words, " and that part of Kentucky ly- 
ing south of the State of Indiana." 

21, (formerly 17,) North Indiana Conference. No 
alteration. 

22, (formerly 18,) Rock River Conference. As 
before. 

23, Wisconsin (new) Conference " includes the 
State of Wisconsin, with that part of Minnesota not in 
the Michigan Conference, and parts of Hazelgreen and 
Monroe circuits." 

24, (formerly 19,) Iowa Conference is enlarged by 
the addition of " the Nebraska territory." 

25, (formerly 20,) Illinois Conference is altered so 
as to read after Doddsville, " thence to the Indiana 
State line, embracing Warsaw town, Havana mission, 
Bloomington station, and Danville circuit, and all that 
part of Kentucky not included in the Ohio and Indiana 
Conferences." 

26, (formerly 21,) Missouri Conference, which for- 
merly included only the Slate of Missouri, is now made 
to embrace " the States of Missouri and Arkansas, and 
the territory west and north of these States, extending 
to the Rocky Mountains, not included in the Iowa Con- 
ference." 

27, (formerly 37,) Baltimore Conference is now 
bounded so as to include " all that part of Virginia not 
embraced in the Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia 
Conferences, and which is bounded by a line com- 
mencing at the mouth of the Rappahannock River, 



250 Boundaries of the 'Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

running with said river to the head waters thereof, (in- 
cluding Fredericksburgh,) thence by the Blue Ridge to 
New River, taking in Floyd circuit, thence by New 
River to the boundary of the Ohio Conference ; the 
Western Shore of Maryland, except a small portion 
included in the Pittsburgh Conference, and that part 
of Pennsylvania lying east of the Alleghany Mountains 
and west of the Susquehanna River, including Hunt- 
ingdon and Northumberland Districts." 

28, (formerly 38,) Philadelphia, and 29, (formerly 
39,) New-Jersey Conferences remain unaltered. 

30, (formerly 40,) Liberia Mission Annual Confer- 
ence as before. 

There have been omitted the following : — 

22, Indian Mission ; 23, Kentucky ; 24, Holston ; 
25, Tennessee. ; 26, Memphis ; 27, Arkansas ; 28, 
Eastern Texas ; 29, Western Texas ; 30, Mississippi; 
31, Alabama; 32, Georgia; 33, Florida; 34, South 
Carolina ; 35, Nortb Carolina ; 36, Virginia Con- 
ferences. 

There is added the following : — 

"31. There shall be an annual conference on the 
Pacific coast, to embrace Oregon, California, and New- 
Mexico, to be called the Oregon and California 
Mission Conference — to be organized as soon as 
practicable, under the authority and direction of the 
episcopacy— possessing all the rights, powers, and 
privileges, of other annual conferences; except that of 
sending delegates to the General Conference, and of 
drawing its annual dividend from the avails of the Book 
Concern and of the Chartered Fund." 

1 S52, 1. The New-York Conference consists of 
the territory now included in the New- York, Pough- 
keepsie, Rhinebeck, Delaware, and Newhurgh districts. 

2. The New-York East Conference consists of the 
East New-York, the New-Haven, the Hartford, and 
Long Island districts, including in the city of New-York 
all those charges lying east of a line running through the 
Third Avenue, Bowery, Chatham-street, and Broadway 



Scv. 1 ] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 251 

3. The Providence Conference as before, except the 
addition of " Millville and Blackstone Stations in Mas- 
sachusetts." 

4. The New-England Conference ; 5. The Maine 
Conference ; 6. The East Maine Conference ; 7. The 
New-Hampshire Conference ; 8. The Vermont Con- 
ference — iemain as they were. 

9. The Troy Conference as before, except instead 
of " embracing Kinderhook circuit" it is now " em- 
bracing Richmondville station." 

10. The Black River Conference as before. 

11. The Oneida Conference includes "that part of 
the State of New-York south of the Black River Con- 
ference, and east of Cayuga Lake, and north of a line 
running east from Newfield to Ithaca. From thence, 
following the Catskill turnpike to Greene, and from 
thence following the same line of road through Mason- 
ville to the New-York Conference, including all the 
charges through which said line passes. From thence 
on the west line of the Troy Conference to the Erie 
Canal, including Fort Plain." 

12. The Wyoming (a new) Conference includes 
" that part of the State of New-York not included in the 
Oneida, East Genesee, and New-York Conferences, 
and the Susquehanna and Wyoming Districts in the 
State of Pennsylvania, including Stoddartsville circuit." 

13. (formerly 12.) The East Genesee Conference 
contains " all that part of the State of New-York west 
of Black River, Oneida, and Wyoming Conferences, 
and east of the Genesee River, excepting Lima station, 
including the city of Rochester, together with so much 
of the State of Pennsylvania as is included in the El- 
mira and Corning Districts." 

14. (formerly 13.) The Genesee Conference includes 
" all that part of the State of New-York, including Lima 
station, west of the East Genesee Conference, except 
so much as is included in the Erie Annual Conference, 
aiad also Smithport, Cudersport, and Bradford circuits, 
in Pennsylvania." 



252 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

15, (formerly 14.) The Erie Conference as before, 
except the words " and also including Petersburgh." 
It was formerly " except Petersburgh." 

16, (formerly 15.) The Pittsburgh Conference, bound- 
ed on the north and east as before, " thence west along 
the line of the Western Virginia Conference to the Ohio 
River, thence down said river to the mouth of the Musk- 
ingum River, thence up said river, exclusive of the 
towns of Marietta and Zanesville, to the Tuscarawas 
River, thence up said river, exclusive of the town of 
Massillon, to the line of the Erie Conference." 

17, The Western Virginia Conference is bounded 
as follows : — " Beginning at the south-west corner of 
the Pennsylvania line, thence along said line to the 
north-east corner of Ohio County, Virginia, so as to 
include Wheeling Creek mission and Triadelphia cir- 
cuits ; thence the most direct way to Short Creek, so 
as to include the Short Creek and Liberty circuit, 
thence down said creek to the Ohio River, thence 
down said river to the mouth of Big Sandy River, 
thence up said river, so as to include the Charleston 
district ; on the south and east it shall be bounded by 
the Baltimore Conference to the Pennsylvania State 
line, thence westward by said line to the place of be- 
ginning." 

18, (formerly 16.) The Ohio Conference commences 
" at the south-east corner of the North Ohio Con- 
ference, and thence south, following the course of the 
Muskingum River to its junction with the Ohio River, 
including the city of Zanesville, and the town of Mari- 
etta, thence down the Ohio River to the mouth of Ohio 
Brush Creek, thence north to the south-east corner of 
Fayette County, leaving Sinking Spring circuit and 
Bethesda and Rapid Forge societies in Highland Coun- 
ty, west of this line, and Washington circuit east, ex- 
cept Fairfield, which shall be left west of said line, 
thence north-west to the western boundary of said 
county of Fayette, thence in a due-north direction to 
the southern boundary of the North Ohio Conference, 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 253 

leaving Vienna circuit west of said line, thence east 
with the southern line of the North Ohio Conference 
to the place of beginning." 

19, The Cincinnati (a new) Conference commences 
" at the mouth of Ohio Brush Creek, and is bounded 
on the south by the Ohio River, and on the west by 
the Indiana State line, to the southern bounds of the 
North Ohio Conference, at the south-west corner of 
Dark County, thence eastwardly along said line, so as 
to exclude the Sydney and Delaware districts of the 
North Ohio Conference, to the boundary of the Ohio 
Conference at its junction with the southern line of the 
North Ohio Conference, thence in a south-eastwardly 
direction with said western line of the Ohio Conference 
to the place of beginning." 

20, The Kentucky Conference includes " the State 
of Kentucky, excepting so much of said State as is in- 
cluded in the Western Virginia Conference." 

21, (formerly 18.) The North Ohio Conference. 
Boundaries as before, except the part of Ohio included 
in the Cincinnati Conference. 

22, (formerly 19.) The Michigan Conference now 
includes only " the State of Michigan." 

23, (formerly 20.) The Indiana Conference is bound- 
ed as follows, viz. : — " Beginning at the mouth of Silver 
Creek, on the Ohio River, thence with said creek to 
the JefTersonville Railroad, thence by said railroad to 
Rockford, thence by the East Fork of White River to 
Columbus, thence by the Madison and Indianapolis 
railroad to Franklin, thence by the Plank Road to the 
Bluffs of White River, thence north by said river to 
the southern line of the Donation of Indianapolis, thence 
east by said line to Meridian-street, thence north by 
said street to its intersection with Market-street, thence 
west by Market-street to the Donation line, then south 
by said Donation line to the National Road, thence by 
the National Road west to the intersection of the Green- 
castle State road, one-and-a-half miles west of Stiles- 
ville, thence with said State Road to the town plat of 

11 



254 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

Greencastle, thence due south to Seminary-street, 
thence by said street to College-street, including the 
second charge in Greencastle, together with lot No. 
153, thence due south to the southern border of the col- 
lege grounds, upon a line equally dividing the college 
campus and building ; thence due west to the Walnut 
Fork of Eel River, thence down said river to its inter- 
section with the National Road, thence with said road 
to the western line of the State, including all the towns 
on the National Road west of Indianapolis in Indiana 
Conference, except the city of Terre Haute ; thence 
by the State line to the mouth of the Wabash River, 
I hence by the State line to the mouth of Silver Creek, 
the place of beginning." 

24. The North-Western Indiana (new) Conference 
embraces " all of North-Western Indiana, bounded 
north by the State and Lake of Michigan, east by the 
Michigan Road and St. Joseph River, south by Indiana 
Conference, and west by the State of Illinois ; also the 
city of Terre Haute, with so much of the city of In- 
dianapolis within the Donation as lies north of Market- 
street and west of Meridian-street, with all the towns 
on the Michigan Road except Logansport." 

25. (formerly 21.) The North Indiana Conference 
includes " all of North-Eastern Indiana, bounded north 
by Michigan, east by Ohio, south by the National Road, 
and west by the Michigan Road as far north as South 
Bend, thence down St. Joseph River to the Michi- 
gan State Line ; also the town of Logansport, all the 
towns on the National Road east of Indianapolis, and so 
much of the city of Indianapolis within the Donation 
as lies north of Market-street, and east of Meridian 
street." 

26. The South-Eastern Indiana (new) Conference 
includes " all of South-Eastern Indiana, bounded north 
by the National Road, east by Ohio, south by the Ohio 
River, and west by the Indiana Conference ; so much 
of the city of Indianapolis within the Donation as lies 
south of Market-street and east of Meridian-street, and 



Se€. 1.] Boundaries of the Animal Conferences. 255 

all the towns and societies on the line between Indiana 
and South-Eastern Indiana Conferences." 

27, (formerly 22.) The Rock River Conference in- 
cludes " all of the State of Illinois lying north of the line 
of the Illinois Conference, not included in the Wis- 
consin Conference." 

28, (formerly 23.) The Wisconsin Conference as be- 
fore, except "Council Hill" for Hazel Green, "and 
all the Territory of Minnesota." 

29, (formerly 24.) The Iowa Conference as before, 
excepting the "Indian Mission" in the Missouri Con- 
ference. 

30, (formerly 25.) The Illinois Conference includes 
" that part of Illinois not included in the Southern Illinois 
Conference, south of the following line, namely : Be- 
ginning at Warsaw on the Mississippi River, thence to 
Vermont, thence to the mouth of Spoon River, thence 
to the Indiana State line, embracing Warsaw, Ver- 
mont, Havana circuit, Bloomington station, and Dan- 
ville circuit." 

31, The Southern Illinois (new) Conference includes 
" all the State of Illinois lying south of the follow- 
ing line — beginning on the Mississippi River at Gilead, 
in Calhoun County, thence east to the north-west corner 
of Jersey County, thence with the Northern line of said 
county, thence with the Macoussin Creek east of Car- 
linville, thence east to Hillsboro, in Montgomery County, 
to leave Hillsboro, Carrolton, Greenville, Carlinville, 
and Hillsboro circuits within the Illinois Conference; 
thence east through Fayette and Effingham Counties 
to the north-west corner of Jasper County, thence with 
the north line of Jasper and Crawford counties to Wa- 
bash River and Indiana State line." 

32, (formerly 26.) The Missouri Conference includes 
"the State of Missouri, except that part lying south 
of the Osage River, and we.^t of Miller, Pulaski, and 
Ashley Counties, and that part of the Nebraska Terri- 
tory embracing the Indian Missions in said Territory." 

33, The Arkansas Conference includes "the States 



256 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2 

of Arkansas, Texas, and so much of New-Mexico as 
lies east of the Rocky Mountains, and that part of the 
Indian territory west of Arkansas, and so much of the 
State of Missouri as is not included in the Missouri 
Conference." 

34, (formerly 27.) The Baltimore Conference. Same 
as before, except that instead of Ohio the Western Vir 
ginia Conference is named, and the same instead of 
Pittsburgh. 

35, (formerly 28.) The Philadelphia Conference. 
Same as before, save that "Wyoming" is named instead 
of Oneida Conference. 

36, (formerly 29.) The New-Jersey Conference re- 
mains unaltered, except that " Newton" district is now 
included. 

37, The Oregon Conference embraces " the Terri- 
tory of Oregon." 

38, The California Conference embraces " the State 
of California, the Territory of Utah, and so much of 
the Territory of New-Mexico as lies west of the Rocky 
Mountains." 

39, (formerly 30.) The Liberia Conference as before. 

Following the boundaries of the several Conferences 
the Discipline of 1852 has the following on the Ger- 
man work : — 

"1. The Pittsburgh, the North Ohio, and the Cin- 
cinnati Districts, with the exception of Lawrenceburgh, 
are connected with the Cincinnati Conference. 

" 2. The North Indiana District, as it now is, and 
the Indiana District, with the addition of Lawrence- 
burgh, are connected with the South-Eastern Indiana 
Conference. 

" 3. The St. Louis, Missouri, and the Quincy Dis- 
tricts, with the exception of Pekin and Peoria Missions, 
are connected with the Illinois Conference. 

"4. The Wisconsin and Iowa Districts, with the addi- 
tion of Pekin and Peoria Missions, are connected with 
the Rock River Conference. 



Seel.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 257 

" " 5. The German Missions in the East remain in 
connection with the New-York Conference." 

1 856. The following alterations have been made : 

I. New-York Conference, Delaware District, is 
stricken out, and Prattsville and Monticello added. 

7. New-Hampshire Conference includes as before, 
with the addition of that part of the state of Vermont 
lying east of the top of the Green Mountains ; provided, 
the New-Hampshire Conference shall agree to the re- 
union of the two, otherwise the Vermont Conference 
shall include, as now, that part of the state of Vermont 
lying east of the top of the Green Mountains. 

I I . Wyoming Conference includes, in addition, Lisle 
and Whitney's Point charge, together with that part of 
Pennsylvania bounded on the west by the East Genesee, 
south by the Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New-York 
Conferences. 

12. The East Genesee includes, in addition, the city 
of Rochester, and Troy and Laporte districts. 

13. Genesee includes as much of the state of Penn- 
sylvania as is embraced in the Olean district. 

14. Erie, in addition, all of Cleveland lying east of 
Cuyahoga River. 

16. Western Virginia, in addition, includes Guyan- 
dotte district. 

" 17. Ohio Conference shall commence at the south- 
east corner of the North Ohio Conference, and thence 
south, following the course of the Muskingum River to 
its junction with the Ohio River, including the city of 
Zanesville and the town of Marietta ; thence down the 
Ohio River to the mouth of Ohio Brush Creek ; thence 
north to the southeast corner of Fayette county, leaving 
Sinking Spring Circuit, and Bethesda, and Rapid 
Forge societies in Highland circuit, west of this line, 
and Washington circuit east, except Fairfield, which 
shall be left west of said line ; thence northwest to the 
western boundary of said county of Fayette ; thence in 
a due north direction to the southern boundary of Dela- 
ware Conference, leaving Vienna circuit west of said 



258 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part. 2. 

line; thence east with the southern line of the Delaware 
Conference in part, and of the North Ohio Conference 
to the place of beginning. 

" 18. Cincinnati Conference shall commence at the 
mouth of the Ohio Brush Creek, and shall be botfnded 
on the south by the Ohio River, and on the west by the 
Indiana State line to the southern bounds of the Dela- 
ware Conference, at the southwest corner of Dark 
county ; thence eastwardly along said line, so as to 
exclude the Sydney and Delaware Districts of the 
Delaware Conference, to the boundary of the Ohio 
Conference at its junction with the southern line of 
the Delaware Conference ; thence in a southeasterly 
direction with said western line of the Ohio Conference 
to the place of beginning. 

" 19. Kentucky Conference shall include the state of 
Kentucky, excepting so much of said state as is in- 
cluded in the Western Virginia Conference. 

" 20. North Ohio Conference shall be bounded on the 
north by the north line of the state of Ohio, east by the 
Erie and Pittsburgh Conferences, on the south by the 
Ohio Conference, and on the west by the Delaware 
Conference." 

21 . Delaware (new conference) is "bounded by a line 
commencing at the northwest corner of the state of 
Ohio ; thence east by the north line of the state to a 
point north of the mouth of Sandusky River; thence 
south to the mouth of Sandusky River, excluding Port 
Clinton circuit ; thence up said Sandusky River to 
Upper Sandusky, excluding Tiffin city, and including 
Fremont and Upper Sandusky ; thence along the Ohio 
and Indiana Railroad to Crestline, including Bucyrus 
station and Crestline ; thence along the Cleveland, 
Columbus, and Cincinnati Railroad to the north line of 
the Ohio Conference, including Cardington village, 
Waldo, and Westneld, and Galena circuits ; thence west 
along the north line of the Ohio and Cincinnati Con- 
ferences to the west line of the state; thence north 
along the west line of the state to the place of beginning. 



Seel.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 259 

22. Michigan Conference includes all that part of 
Michigan lying west of the principal meridian lines ; 
and the Indian Missions, in the lower peninsula. 

23. Detroit (new conference) includes all that part 
of the state of Michigan lying east of the principal 
meridian line, and the upper peninsula shall be con- 
nected with the Detroit Conference. 

28. Rock River is as follows : — All the north part 
of the state of Illinois north of the north line of the 
Peoria Conference, so as to include the city of Peru, 
and excepting that part of Spring Grove circuit lying 
in the state of Illinois. 

29. Peoria (new conference) is bounded as fol- 
lows : — 

All that part of the state of Illinois north of the north 
line of the Illinois Conference, and south of the follow- 
ing line, namely : Beginning on the Mississippi River 
at Rock Island ; thence with the Rock Island and 
Chicago Railroad to Lasell ; thence with the Illinois 
River to the mouth of the Kankakee River ; thence 
with the Kankakee River to the Indiana state line, 
so as to embrace Rock Island City, Moline and Port 
Byron circuits, and Lasell station, 

30. Wisconsin Conference shall include all that por- 
tion of the state of Wisconsin which is not included in 
the Minnesota and West Wisconsin Conferences. 

31. West Wisconsin (new conference) shall include 
that part of the state of Wisconsin which lies south and 
east of the Minnesota Conference, and west of a line 
beginning on the south line of the state of Illinois at 
the southeast corner of Green county, and running 
north on the Range line of the north line of Town 
Twenty, (20 ;) thence west on the north line of Town 
Twenty to the fourth principal meridian ; and thence 
north on said meridian to the line of the Minnesota 
Conference, with the addition of that part- of Spring 
Grove circuit which lies within the state of Illinois. 

32. Minnesota includes the Minnesota territory and 
that part of the state of Wisconsin which lies north and 



260 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

west of a line beginning at the mouth of Black River, 
and running up said River to the mouth of Beaver 
Creek, up said Creek to its source; thence by the divid- 
ing ridge between the waters of Black and Trempellan 
Rivers to the line between Towns Twenty-Three and 
Twenty-Four ; thence east along said line to the fourth 
principal meridian, and thence north on said meridian 
line to Lake Superior. 

33. Iowa. AH the state of Iowa lying south of a 
line commencing at Davenport, and running on the line 
of railway to Iowa city ; thence up Iowa River to the 
corner of Iowa, Benton, Tauca, and Poweshiek coun- 
ties ; thence west to Missouri River, leaving Davenport 
and Iowa city in the Upper Iowa Conference and the 
intermediate towns on the line of the Iowa Conference. 

34. Upper Iowa (new conference.) All that part of 
the state of Iowa not embraced in the Iowa Confer- 
ence. 

35. Kansas and Nebraska (new conference) embraces 
the Kansas and Nebraska territories, and also that part 
of the territories of New-Mexico and Utah lying east 
of the Rocky Mountains. 

36. Illinois shall include that part of Illinois not in- 
cluded in the Southern Illinois Conference, south of the 
following line, namely : Beginning at Warsaw on the 
Mississippi River ; thence to Vermont ; thence to the 
mouth of Spoon River ; thence up the Illinois River to 
the northwest corner of Mason county : thence to the 
north-east corner of said county ; thence to the junction 
of the Central, and Alton, and Chicago Railroad, leaving 
Mackinaw circuit in the Peoria Conference ; thence to 
the southwest corner of Iroquois county ; thence east 
to the Indiana State line. 

27. Southern Illinois Conference shall include all 
that part of Illinois south of the following line : Begin- 
ning at Gilead on the Mississippi River in Calhoun 
county ; thence to the northwest corner of Jersey 
county ; thence to the northeast corner of said county; 
thence to Honey Point ; thence to Hillsborough, leav- 



Sec. 1.] Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. 261 

ing Hillsborough station in the Illinois Conference ; 
thence east through Fayette and Effingham counties to 
the northwest corner of Jasper county ; thence with 
the north line of Jasper and Crawford counties to the 
Wabash River. 

38. Missouri Conference shall include the state of 
Missouri, except that part lying south of the Osage River, 
and west of Miller, Pulaski, and Ashley counties. 

39. Arkansas, same as before, with the exception 
of New-Mexico. 

41. Philadelphia includes Naglesville. 

42. New-Jersey includes that part of the state of 
New-Jersey south of the following line : Beginning 
with Raritan Bay and running up said Bay to New- 
Brunswick ; thence along turnpike to Lambertville on 
the Delaware, including the city of New-Brunswick 
and Lambertville station. 

43. Newark (new conference) shall include all that 
part of the state of New-Jersey not included in the 
New-Jersey Conference, Staten Island, and so much 
of the states of New-York and Pennsylvania as is now 
included in the Paterson and Newton districts. 

44. Oregon includes Oregon and Washington. 

45. California embraces the Sandwich Islands, and 
excludes Utah and New-Mexico. 

47. German (new) Conference. There shall be an 
annual conference in Germany, to be denominated The 
German Mission Annual Conference, embracing also 
the missions in France and Switzerland where the 
German language is spoken : which conference shall 
possess all the rights, powers, and privileges of other 
annual conferences, except that of sending delegates to 
the General Conference, and of drawing its annual 
dividends from the avails of the Book Concern and of 
the Charter Fund. 

GERMAN WORK. 

1. The Cincinnati and Ohio Districts are connected 
with the Cincinnati Conference. 



262 Boundaries of the Annual Conferences. [Part 2. 

2. The North Ohio and Michigan Districts are con- 
nected with the North Ohio Conference. 

3. The German work now connected with the 
Southeastern Indiana Conference, shall remain con- 
nected with that Conference. 

4. All the German Missions north of the forty-second 
parallel of latitude, in the state of Iowa, with Galena 
Station, and Freeport Mission in Illinois ; also all the 
western part of the state of Wisconsin not now included 
in the Wisconsin German District, with Minnesota, 
shall belong to the Upper Iowa Conference. 

5. The Wisconsin and Chicago German Districts 
as they now are, with the exception of Freeport Mis- 
sion ; also all the German Missions in Iowa south of 
the forty-second parallel of latitude, including Burling- 
ton Station, and Farmington and Desmoines Missions, 
from Quincy District, Illinois Conference, shall belong 
to the Rock River Conference. 

6. The Missouri and Quincy Districts, except so 
much as lies in Iowa, and so much of Belleville District 
as lies in the bounds of the Illinois Conference, shall 
belong to the Illinois Conference. 

7. The St. Louis District, and so much of the Belle- 
ville District as is in the Southern Illinois Conference, 
shall belong to the Southern Illinois Conference. 

8. The German Missions in the East shall remain 
in connection with the New-York Conference. 

9. The German Missions in California are to belong 
to the California Conference. 

Quest. 2. How are the districts to be formed ? 

The original answer to this question may be found 
on p. 119. It was transferred to its present position 
in 1804. The words, "or otherwise," were inserted 
after " death," in 1800; and "district conferences" 
changed to "yearly conference," in 1796. 

1 844. After the words, " According to the judg- 
ment of the bishops," is added, "provided that no dis- 
trict shall contain more than fifteen appointments." 

The concluding note to this section, about the allow- 



Sec. 2 J Of building Churches. 2G3 

ance of the bishops, may be found on p. 119. It was 
transferred to its present position in 1804, and the fol- 
lowing words were added in 1836 : "their widows and 
orphans." 

SECTION II. 

Of building Churches, and the Order to be observed 
therein* 

Quest. 1. Is any thing advisable in regard to building? 

1784. "(Quest. 74.) Am. Let all our chapels 
•be built plain and decent ; but not more expensive than 
is absolutely unavoidable : otherwise the necessity of 
raising money will make rich men necessary to us. 
But if so, we must be dependent upon them, yea, and 
governed by them. And then farewell to the Methodist 
discipline, if not doctrine too." 

1787. The following clauses added : — 

" (5.) That no person shall be eligible as a trustee 
to any of our churches or colleges, that is not in con- 
stant communion, and a regular leader or member of a 
class. 

" (6.) That no person that is a trustee shall be 
ejected while he is in joint security for money, unless 
such relief be given him as is demanded, or the person 
who makes the loan will accept." 

1789. In paragraph (5,) after the word "col- 
leges," was inserted " nor act as a steward or 
leader." 

1 70S. " Schools " substituted for " colleges ;" and 
the qualification for a trustee is that he be " a regular 
member of our society." 

1800. " Houses" inserted before "churches." 

1 8S0. The words "and with free seats," inserted 
in Answer 1, after "decent;" and the following new 
clauses added : — 

° For the provisions on this subject prior to 1784 see pp. 11, 18. 



264 Of building Churches. [Part 2. 

" 2. In order more effectually to prevent our people 
from contracting debts which they are not able to dis- 
charge, it shall be the duty of the quarterly conference, 
of every circuit and station, where it is contemplated to 
build a house or houses of worship, to secure the 
ground or lot on which such house or houses are to be 
built, according to our deed of settlement, which deed 
must be legally executed ; and also said quarterly con- 
ference shall appoint a judicious committee of at least 
three members of our church, who shall form an esti- 
mate of the amount necessary to build ; and three- 
fourths of the money, according to such estimate, shall 
be secured or subscribed before any such building 
shall be commenced. 

" 3. In future we will admit no charter, deed, or 
conveyance, for any house of worship to be used by us, 
unless it be provided in such charter, deed, or convey- 
ance, that the trustees of said house shall at all times 
permit such ministers and preachers belonging to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church as shall from time to time 
be duly authorized by the General Conference of the 
ministers of our church, or by the annual conferences, 
to preach and expound God's holy word, and to execute 
the discipline of the church, and to administer the 
sacraments therein, according to the true meaning and 
purport of our deed of settlement. 

" 4. As it is contrary to our economy to build houses 
with pews to sell or rent| it shall be the duty of the 
several annual conferences to use their influence to 
prevent houses from being so built in future ; and as 
far as possible to make those houses free which have 
already been built with pews." 

1844, To paragraph 2, of 1820, is added :— 

" In all cases where debts for building houses of 
worship have been, or may be, incurred contrary to, or 
in disregard of, the above recommendation, our mem- 
bers and friends are requested to discountenance, by 
declining pecuniary aid to all agents who shall travel 
abroad beyond their own circuits or districts for the 



Sec. 2.] Deed of Settlement. 265 

collection of funds for the discharge of such debts ; 
except in such peculiar cases as may be approved by 
an annual conference, or such agents as may be ap- 
pointed by their authority." 

Quest. 2. Is there any exception to the rule, " Let the men 
and women sit apart '?" 

The answer remained as in 1784, (see p. 72,) except 
that "chapels" was changed in ITS? to "churches," until 
1852, when both question and answer were struck out, 

Quest. 3. Is there not a great indecency sometimes practised 
among us, namely, talking in the congregation before and after 
service ! 

The answer remains substantially the same as in 
1784. (See Quest. 76, p. 72.) 

Quest. -1. What shall be done for the security of our preach- 
ing houses, and the premises belonging thereto ! 

1706. As follows:— 

" Quest. 4. What shall be done for the security of 
our preaching houses, and the premises belonging 
thereto 1 

" Ans. Let the following plan of a deed of settlement 
be brought into effect in all possible cases, and as far 
as the laws of the states respectively will admit of it, 
namely : 

" ' This Indenture, made this day 

of in the year of our Lord one thousand 

hundred and between 

of the in the state of (if the 

grantor be married, insert the name of his wife) of the 
one part, and trustees, in trust for the 

uses and purposes hereinafter mentioned, all of the 
in the state of aforesaid, of 

the other part. Witnesseth, that the said 
(if married, insert the name of his wife) for and in con- 
sideration of the sum of pounds, specie, 
to in hand paid, at and upon the sealing 
and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof is 
hereby acknowledged, hath (or have) given, granted, 
bargained, sold, released, confirmed, and conveyed, and 



266 Deed of Settlement [Part 2. 

by these presents doth (or do) give, grant, bargain, sell, 
release, confirm, and convey unto them, the said 

and their successors, 
(trustees, in trust for the uses and purposes herein- 
after mentioned and declared,) all the estate, right, title, 
interest, property, claim, and demand whatsoever, either 
in law or equity, which he the said 
(if married, here insert the name of his wife) hath (or 
have) in, to, or upon all and singular a certain lot, or 
piece of land, situate, lying, and being in the 
and state aforesaid, bounded and butted as follows, to 
wit, (here insert the several courses and distances of 
the ground to the place of beginning,) containing and laid 
out for acres of ground, together with 

all and singular the houses, woods, waters, ways, pri- 
vileges, and appurtenances thereto belonging, or in any 
wise appertaining : to have and to hold all and singu- 
lar, the above-mentioned and described lot or piece of 
ground, situate, lying, and being as aforesaid, together 
with all and singular the houses, woods, waters, ways, 
and privileges thereto belonging, or in any wise apper- 
taining unto them the said and their suc- 
cessors in office for ever in trust, that they shall erect 
and build, or cause to be erected and built thereon, a 
house or place of worship for the use of the members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States 
of America, according to the rules and discipline which 
from time to time may be agreed upon and adopted by 
the ministers and preachers of the said church at their 
General Conferences in the United States of America; 
and in further trust and confidence that they shall at all 
times, for ever hereafter, permit such ministers and 
preachers belonging to the said church, as shall from 
time to time be duly ..authorized by the General Con 
ferences of the ministers and preachers of the said 
Methodist Episcopal Church, or by the yearly confer- 
ences authorized by the said General Conference, and 
none others, to preach and expound God's holy word 
therein ; and in further trust and confidence, that as 



Sec. 2.] Deed of Settlement. 267 

often as any one or more of the trustees herein before 
mentioned shall die, or cease to be a member or mem- 
bers of the said church according to the rules and dis- 
cipline as aforesaid, then and in such case it shall be 
the duty of the stationed minister or preacher (author- 
ized as aforesaid) who shall have the pastoral charge 
of the members of the said church, to call a meeting 
of the remaining trustees as soon as conveniently may 
be ; and when so met, the said minister or preacher 
shall proceed to nominate one or more persons to fill 
the place or places of him or them whose office or 
offices has (or have) been vacated as aforesaid. Pro- 
vided, the person or persons so nominated shall have 
been one year a member or members of the said church 
immediately preceding such nomination, and of at least 
twenty-one years of age ; and the said trustees, so as- 
sembled, shall proceed to elect, and by a majority of 
votes appoint, the person or persons so nominated to 
fill such vacancy or vacancies, in order to keep up the 
number of nine trustees for ever ; and in case of an 
equal number of votes for and against the said nomina- 
tion, the stationed minister or preacher shall have the 
casting vote. 

" 'Provided nevertheless, That if the said trustees, or 
any of them, or their successors, have advanced, or 
shall advance, any sum or sums of money, or are or 
shall be responsible for any sum or sums of money, on 
account of the said premises, and they the said trustees, 
or their successors, be obliged to pay the said sum or 
sums of money, they, or a majority of them, shall be au- 
thorized to raise the said sum or sums of money, by a 
mortgage on the said premises, or by selling the said 
premises, after notice given to the pastor or preacher who 
has the oversight of the congregation attending divine 
service on the said premises, if the money due be not 
paid to the said trustees, or their successors, within one 
year after such notice given : and if such sale take 
place, the said trustees, or their successors, after pay- 
ing the debt and all other expenses which are due from 



268 Deed of Settlement. [Part 2. 

the money arising from such sale, shall deposite the 
remainder of the money produced by the said sale in 
the hands of the steward or stewards of the society 
belonging to or attending divine service on the said pre- 
mises ; which surplus of the produce of such sale so 
deposited in the hands of the said steward or stewards, 
shall be at the disposal of the next yearly conference 
authorized as aforesaid ; which said yearly conference 
shall dispose of the said money, according to the best 
of their judgment, for the use of the said society. And 
the said doth by these presents warrant, 

and for ever defend, all and singular the before men- 
tioned and described lot or piece of ground, with the 
appurtenances thereto belonging unto them the said 

and their successors, chosen and appointed 
as aforesaid, from the claim or claims of him the said 
his heirs and assigns, and from the claim 
or claims of all persons whatever. In testimony where- 
of, the said (if married, insert the name 
of his wife) have hereto set their hands and seals, the 
day and year aforesaid. 
Sealed and delivered in 

the presence of us 
(Two witnesses.) 

Grantor's (L. S.) 
his wife's (L. S.) 
Received the day of the date % 

of the above-written in- r 

denture, the consideration l 

therein mentioned in full. ' 
Witnesses.] Grantor's (L S.) 

County, ss. 

Be it remembered, that on the day 

of in the year of our Lord one thousand 

personally appeared before me, one of the 
justices of the peace, in and for the county of 

and state of the within named 

the grantor (if married, insert the name of his wife) and 



Sec. 2.] Deed of Settlement. 269 

acknowledged the within deed of trust to be their act 
and deed, for the uses and purposes therein men- 
tioned and declared ; and she the said 
wife of the said being separate and 

apart from her said husband, by me examined, de- 
clared that she made the same acknowledgment, 
freely and with her own consent, without being in- 
duced thereto through fear or threats of her said 
husband. In testimony whereof I have hereto set 
my hand and seal, the day and ) 7 ear first above 
written. 
Here the justice's name. (L. S.)' 

"N. B. It is necessary that all our deeds should be 
recorded after execution, for prudential as well as legal 
reasons. 

" 2. Let nine trustees be appointed for preaching 
houses, where proper persons can be procured ; other- 
wise seven or five." 

18 12, The following sentence was inserted just 
before the deed : — 

" But each annual conference is authorized to make 
such modification in the deeds as they may find the 
different usages and customs of law require in the dif- 
ferent states and territories, so as to secure the premi- 
ses firmly by deed, and permanently to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, according to the true intent and 
meaning of the following form of a deed of settlement ; 
any thing in the said form to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing." 

In the same year the words " and none others" 
were struck out of the deed, (p. 231, 11. 3, 2 from bottom.) 

1830. The note about recording the deed was 
struck out. 

1828. The following paragraph was added at 
the close of the section : — 

" The board of trustees of every circuit or station 
shall be responsible to the quarterly meeting confer- 
ence of said circuit or station, and shall be required to 
18 



270 Of the Stewards of Circuits. [Part 2. 

present a report of its acts during the preceding year ; 
provided that in ail cases, when a new board of trus- 
tees is to be created, it shall be done (except in those 
states and territories where the statutes provide dif- 
ferently) by the appointment of the preacher in charge, 
or the presiding elder of the district." 

1 8 48. The part which related to church property 
was formerly included in one section. It is now di- 
vided into three, as follows : — " Of building churches, 
and the order to be observed therein." " Of the form 
and deed of settlement." " Of trustees ;" and to this 
last section has been transferred the manner of appoint- 
ing trustees, from the Deed of Settlement in former 
editions. 

1853. The answer to Question 1 is neutralized 
by the addition of the words in italics : — " Let all our 
churches be built .... with free seats wherever 
practicable." 

The fourth answer, which used to declare it contrary 
to our economy to build houses with pews to sell or 
rent, is omitted. 

SECTION III 

Of the Qualifications, Appointment, and Duty of the 
Stewards of Circuits. 

Quest. 1. What are the qualifications necessary for stew- 
ards ? 

1789. "Ans. Let them be men of solid piety, 
who both know and love the Methodist doctrine and 
discipline, and of good natural and acquired abilities to 
transact the temporal business." 

Quest. 2. How are the stewards to be appointed ? 

1813. "Ans. The preacher having the charge 
of the circuit shall have the right of nomination ; but 
the quarterly meeting conference shall confirm or reject 
such nomination." 



Sec. 3.] Of the Stewards of Circuits. 271 

Quest. 3. What are the duties of stewards ?* 

1789. " What is the duty of stewards ? 

" Arts. To take an exact account of all the money 
or other provision made for and received by any 
travelling or local preacher in the circuit ; to make an 
accurate return of every expenditure of money, whether 
to the preacher, the sick, or the poor ; to seek the 
needy and distressed, in order to relieve and comfort 
them ; to inform the preachers of any sick or disorderly 
persons ; to tell the preachers what they think wrong 
in them ; to attend the quarterly meetings of their 
circuit; to give advice, if asked, in planning the circuit; 
to attend committees for the application of money to 
churches ; to give counsel in matters of arbitration ; 
to provide elements for the Lord's supper ; to write 
circular letters to the societies in the circuits to be more 
liberal, if need be ; as also to let them know the state 
of the temporalities at the last quarterly meeting ; to 
register the marriages and baptisms, and to be subject 
to the bishops, the presiding elder of their district, and 
the elder, deacon, and travelling preachers of their 
circuit." 

1 79S. Instead of " made for and received by any 
travelling* or local preacher," we have " collected for 
the support of preachers." The words " when occa- 
sion requires" inserted before "the state of the tem- 
poralities." 

Quest. 4. To -whom are the stewards accountable for the 
faithful performance of their duties ? 



s In the Annual Minutes for 1787 we find the following : — 
" Quest. 19. Shall any directions be given concerning register books? 
" Ans. Let register books be provided by all the societies, that the 
elders and deacons may enter the marriages and baptisms regularly in 
thern ; and let every such register book be kept in the bands of the 
steward, or any other proper person of each society respectively. Let 
one general register book be also kept in the hands of the general steward 
of every circuit, in which the contents of the private register books in 
the circuit may be inserted at convenient times." 



272 Of the Allowance of Ministers. [Part 2. 

1816. "Arts. To the quarterly meeting confer- 
ence of the circuit or station." 

1828. The following clause was added to the 
preceding : — " which shall have power to dismiss or 
change them at pleasure. 1 ' 

Quest. 5. What number of stewards are necessary in each 
circuit ? 

17 89. " Ans. Not less than two, or more than 
four." 

1 820. The answer was altered to the follow- 
ing :— 

" Not less than three, or more than seven, one of 
whom shall be the recording steward." 

SECTION IV. 

Of the A llowance to the Ministers and Preachers, and 
to their Wives, Widows, and Children. 

For the provisions on this subject prior to 1784, see 
pp. 11-14, 18. The provisions of 1784 may be found 
under Questions 37-40, (p. 42.*) The subsequent 
changes have been as follows : — 

1787. The word " bishops" was inserted in the 
first question (37) before " elders." 

The words "and no more" at the close of the first 
two answers, struck out ; as also the last two questions 
and answers. 

1789. The following note was added : — 

" N. B. That no ministers or preachers, travelling 
or local, shall receive any support, either in money or 
other provision, for their services, without the knowledge 
of the stewards of the circuits, and its being properly 
entered quarterly on the books." 

° In the Minutes for 1787 (see vol. i, pp. 28, 29) we find the follow- 
ing : — 

" Quest. Are not many of our preachers and people dissatisfied with the 
salaries allowed our married preachers who have children? Arts. They 
are Therefore, for the future, no married preacher shall demand more 
than £48, P. C." 



Sec. 4.] Of the Allowance of Ministers. 273 

1793, The section was entitled, " Of the Sala- 
ries of the Ministers and Preachers," and the an- 
swers were as follows. To the first question, (37th, 
of 1784,)— 

" Ans. Sixty-four dollars, and their travelling ex- 
penses." 

To the second question, (38th, of 1784,) — "Sixty- 
bur dollars, if they be in want of it." 

The following was added : — 

" Quest. 3. What plan shall we pursue in appro- 
priating the money received by our travelling ministers 
for marriage fees ?" 

"Ans. In all the circuits where the preachers do 
not receive their full quarterage, let all such money be 
given into the hands of the stewards, and be equally 
divided between the travelling preachers of the circuit. 
In all other cases, the money shall be disposed of at 
the discretion of the district conference." 

The note was also modified so as to read, — 

" N. B. No minister or preacher whatsoever shall 
receive any money for deficiencies, or on any other 
account, out of any of our funds or collections, without 
first giving an exact account of all the money, clothes, 
and other presents of every kind, which he has received 
the preceding year." 

1790. The allowance to a preacher's wife is 
made absolute, without the condition, "if she want it." 

1800. The mode of questions and answers was 
laid aside, and the section assumed its present form 
namely, — 

"1. The annual salary of the travelling preachers 
shall be eighty dollars and their travelling expenses. 

" 2. The annual allowance of the wives of travelling 
preachers shall be eighty dollars. 

" 3. Each child of a travelling preacher shall be 
allowed sixteen dollars annually, to the age of seven 
years, and twenty-four dollars annually from the age 
of seven to fourteen vears ; nevertheless, this rule shall 



274 Of the Allowance of Ministers. [Part 2. 

not apply to the children of preachers whose families 
are provided for by other means in their circuits re- 
spectivety. 

" 4. The salary of the superannuated, worn-out, and 
supernumerary preachers shall be eighty dollars an- 
nually. 

" 5. The annual allowance of the wives of superan- 
nuated, worn-out, and supernumerary preachers shall 
be eighty dollars. 

" 6. The annual allowance of the widows of travel- 
ling, superannuated, worn-out, and supernumerary 
preachers shall be eighty dollars. 

" 7. The orphans of travelling, superannuated, 
worn-out, and supernumerary preachers shall be 
allowed by the annual conferences, if possible, by 
such means as they can devise, sixteen dollars an- 
nually." 

1 80 4. The following inserted in clause 3, before 
" nevertheless" " and those preachers whose wives are 
dead shall be allowed for each child annually a sum 
sufficient to pay the board of such child or children 
during the above term of years." 

The following added at the close of the section : — 

" 8. Local preachers shall be allowed a salary in 
certain cases, as mentioned, p. 44." [Sec. 9.] 

181©. The allowance of all preachers and their 
wives raised to one hundred dollars. 

1 8^4. Under clause 2, (allowance to wives,) it is 
added, " But this provision shall not apply to the wives 
of those preachers who were single when they were 
received on trial, and marry under four years, until the 
expiration of said four years." 

1838. The seventh clause (relating to orphans) 
was altered so as to read as follows : — 

" 7. The orphans of travelling, supernumerary, su- 
perannuated, and worn-out preachers, shall be allowed 
by the annual conferences the same sums respectively 
which are allowed to the children of living preachers. 



Sec. 4.] 0/ the Allowance of Ministers. 



o7=v 



And on the death of a preacher leaving a child or chil- 
dren, without so much of worldly goods as should be 
necessary to his, her, or their support, the annual con- 
ference, of which he was a member, shall raise, in such 
manner as may be deemed best, a yearly sum for the 
subsistence and education of such orphan child or 
children, until he, she, or they shall have arrived at 
fourteen years of age, the amount of which yearly sum 
shall be fixed by a committee of the conference at each 
session in advance." 

1 835$. The following new clause was inserted : — 
" 8. The more effectually to raise the amount necessary 
to meet the above-mentioned allowances, let there be 
made weekly class collections in all our societies where 
it is practicable ; and also for the support of missions 
and missionary schools under our care." 

1 830. The regulation respecting those who marry 
" under four years," struck out ; and bishops mentioned 
by name, as standing on the same footing with other 
travelling preachers. Clauses 1, 2, 4, and 5, thrown 
into two, as follows : — 

" 1. The annual allowance of the married travelling 
supernumerary, and superannuated preachers, and the 
bishops, shall be two hundred dollars, and their travel- 
ling expenses. 

" 2. The annual allowance of the unmarried travel- 
ling, supernumerary, and superannuated preachers and 
bishops, shall be one hundred dollars, and their travel- 
ling expenses." 

1848. It is provided that the estimate of the 
committee appointed to report the amount neces- 
sary for the table expenses of preachers, " shall be 
subject to the action of the quarterly meeting con- 
ference." 

The paragraphs relative to supernumerary and 
superannuated preachers, and the note denning a super- 
numerary, are incorporated into the text, forming sec. 17, 
ch. iv, Part 1 



276 Of raising annual Supplies. [Part 2. 

The paragraph making it the duty of annual confer- 
ences to examine into the state of domestic missions, 
is transferred to this section from the latter part, of 
sec. 9.* 

section v. 

Of raising annual Supplies for the Propagation of 
the Gospel, making up the Allowance of the 
Preachers, fyc. 

The original provisions on this subject may be found 
under Question 77, (pp. 74-5. )t 

From 1789 to 1800 the title of the section was, 
" Of raising a General Fund for the Propagation of 
the Gospel," and its provisions were the same as 
in 1784. 

1 800. The title was changed to the following : — 
" Of raising annual Supplies for the Propagation of the 



° In 1787 the title of this section was, " Of the Collections that are 
to be made, and how the Money is to be expended ;" and there was 
another question connected with it, which was continued until 1792. It 
was as follows : — 

" How many collections are to be made in a year? 

" Ans. 1. A quarterly collection from the members of the society, to 
supply the preachers : and when that is deficient, a public quarterly col- 
lection : if there be any overplus, let one-third of it be reserved for future 
deficiencies ; one-third to be given to the poor in general ; and one-third 
applied to the building or improving of our churches. [In 1789 was 
added : If there is money left in the hands of the stewards at the close 
of the year, let it be sent to the conference.] 

" 2. A yearly collection from all our members that are of ability, for 
the building of convenient churches. 

" 3. A collection at love-feasts, and on sacramental occasions, for the 
poor of our own society. 

" 4. An annual collection or subscription for the college. 

" 5. An annual public collection for the contingencies of the confer- 
ence ; which shall be applied, 

" 1. To discharge the deficiencies of those preachers who shall not 
have received their full salary in their circuits. And 

" 2. To defray the expenses of our missions to distant parts of the 
continent." 

f For provisions on this subject prior to 1784, see pp. 11, 21. 

* A provision for building new churches, &c, had been made in 1784 See 
Quest. 78, p. 76. 



Sec. 5.] Of raising annual Supplies. 277 

Gospel, for the making up the Salaries of the Preachers 
and Allowances to the Wives, Widows, and Children of 
Preachers." The first sentence of the former answer 
was struck out, and the following clauses were sub- 
stituted : — 

"1. Every preacher, when first admitted into full 
connection, is to pay two dollars and sixty-seven cents 
at the annual conference. 

" 2. Every other preacher, in full connection, is to 
contribute two dollars every year at the conference. 

" 3. The moneys, which are accounted for to the 
annual conferences for marriages, are also to be given in.* 

" 4. Every preacher who has the charge of a circuit 



* These three paragraphs, which were struck out in 1804, took the 
place of what was previously an entire section, under the title — " Of 
the Method of raising a Fund for the superannuated Preachers, and the 
Widows and Orphans of Preachers." It may be found in substance 
under Question 72, (1784, pp. 65-7.) 

1787. In Answer7, after " wants it," read "not usually more than." 

1789. The following changes were made : — 

In Answer 1, "travelling" omitted before "preacher." In Answer 
3, for "treasurers," read "presiding elder, or lent to the college; 
and an account thereof kept by the deacon." Answers 4 and 5 
struck out, and the following note inserted : "N. B. The application 
of the money shall rest with the conference." Answer 12 struck out. 

1792. The answers were modified, as follows : — 

" 1. Let every preacher when first admitted into full connection pay 
two dollars and two-thirds at the conference of his district. 

" 2. Let every other preacher in full connection contribute two dol- 
lars every year; except the conference dispense with the payment in 
cases of distress : in which instances, the preachers so indulged shall 
be entitled to all the privileges of the fund, in the same manner as if 
they had paid their subscription. 

" 3. Let the money be lodged in the book fund, and for this pur- 
pose be sent as soon as may be, from time to time, to the general 
book steward : and the book fund shall pay interest for the same." 

"4" Same as 6, 1784, 

"5." Same as 7, 1784, except, "sixty-four dollars" for "twenty- 
four pounds, Pennsylvania currency." 

" 6." Same as 8, 1784, except, "fifty-three dollars and one-third" 
for " twenty pounds." 

" 7." Same as 9, 1784, except, " orphan" for " child," and " fifty- 
three dollars and one-third" for " twenty pounds." 

"8." Same as 10, 1784, except, "six dollars and two-thirds" for 
" fifty shillings." 

" 9. Nor any one who neglects to pay his subscription and arrears 



2*78 Of raising annual Supplies. [Part 2. 

shall earnestly recommend to every class or society in 
his circuit to raise a quarterly or annual collection by 
voluntary contribution, or in such other way or manner as 
they may judge most expedient from time to time ; and 
the moneys so collected shall be lodged with the stew- 
ard or stewards of the circuit, to be brought or sent to 
the annual conferences, with a regular account of the 
sums raised for this purpose in the classes or societies 
respectively. 

" 5. Wherever there remains in the hands of the 
stewards a surplus of the moneys raised for the use of 
the circuit preachers, after paying the allowances of the 
preachers in the circuit, let such surplus be brought or 
sent to the annual conference. 

"6. Every preacher who has the charge of a circuit 

for three years together, unless he be employed on foreign missions, 
or has received a dispensation as above mentioned. 

" 10. Let every preacher, who has the care of a circuit, bring, &c," 
as before. 

The following new paragraphs were added : — 

"11. Every person, who desires support from the fund, shall first 
make his case known to the district conference, which shall determine 
how far he is a proper subject of relief. 

" 12. The president of the district conference shall give an order 
on the general steward of the book fund, or any of his agents, for any 
sum of money allowed by the conference, agreeably to these rules. 

" 13. The receipts and disbursements of the fund shall be printed 
annually in the Minutes of the conference. 

" 14. The presiding elder of each district shall keep a regular ac- 
count of all the concerns of the fund, as far as they relate to his dis- 
trict, in a proper book, which he shall hand down to his successor. 

" 15. The next district conferences shall give certificates to aL' 
their members respectively for all the money which each preacher 
has already advanced to the fund, as far as it can be ascertained : 
and, in future, each member of the fund shall receive a certificate 
from his district conference for the payment of his subscription. 

" 16. The fund shall never be reduced to less than six hundred 
dollars." 

1796. The following changes made : — Paragraph 3, about invest- 
ing the money, struck out. In Answer 12, for " book fund," we have 
" fund." In Answer 15, the first clause, to the word " ascertained," 
struck out. The following new paragraph was inserted : — 

" 15. This fund shall be reserved for extraordinary cases, which the 
chartered fund may not reach. And no travelling preacher shall have 
a votp in the disposal of the travelling preachers' annual subscription, 
unless he be himself an annual subscriber." 



Sec. 5.] Of raising annual Supplies. 279 

shall make a yearly collection, and. if expedient, a 
quarterly one, in every congregation where there is a 
probability that the people will be willing to contribute : 
and the money so collected shall be lodged in the hands 
of the steward or stewards, and brought or sent to the 
ensuing annual conference. To this end, he may read 
and enlarge upon the following hints." (See pp. 74-6.) 

The following clauses were also added : — 

"7. A public collection shall be made at every 
annual and every General Conference, for the above 
purposes. 

" 8. Let the annual produce of the chartered fund, 
as divided among the several conferences, be applied 
with the above contributions ; but so as not to militate 
against the rules of the chartered fund. Out of the 
moneys so collected, and brought to the respective an- 
nual conferences, let the various allowances agreed 
upon in the 10th section, be made up : and if at any 
conference there remain a surplus, after making up all 
such allowances, such surplus shall be carried forward 
to the next conference that shall meet." 

1804. The first three paragraphs of 1800 were 
struck out. In paragraph 8, (5,) the following clauses 
were inserted, namely : — After " rules of the chartered 
fund," — " and also the annual dividend arising from the 
profits of the Book Concern." And after "be made up," 
the following, " but in no case shall an allowance be 
made to any travelling preacher who has travelled in 
any circuit where he might in the judgment of the an- 
nual conference have obtained his full quarterage if he 
had applied for it." 

1 808. The following paragraphs were added : — 

" 6. Every annual conference has full liberty to adopt 
and recommend such plans and rules as to them may 
appear necessary the more effectually to raise supplies 
for the respective allowances. 

" 7. If the respective allowances are not raised as 
provided for, the connection shall not be accountable for 
the deficiency, as in a case of debt." 



280 Of raising annual Supplies. [Part 2. 

18 IS. The following sentence added to para- 
graph 6, of 1808 : — "Each annual conference is author- 
ized to raise a fund, if they judge it proper, and under 
such regulations as their wisdom may direct, for the 
relief of the distressed travelling, superannuated, and 
supernumerary preachers, their wives, widows, and 
children, as also for missionary purposes." 

181©. At the end of paragraph 8, (5,) of 1800, 
for " to the next conference that shall meet" read " to 
that conference they judge to be the most necessitous." 
In paragraph 6, (1812,) after the words "judge it pro- 
per," was inserted, " subject to its own control." 

1 8S4. The following new paragraph was added: — 
" 8. To defray the expenses of the delegates com- 
posing the General Conference, a collection shall be 
taken up in each circuit and station some time previ- 
ously to the sitting of the conference, and the sums so 
collected shall be brought up to the General Confer- 
ence, and applied to the object herein contemplated in 
proportion to the expenses of the several delegates." 
1 8 351. The following new paragraph inserted : — 
"7. It shall be the duty of each annual conference 
to take measures, from year to year, to raise moneys 
in every circuit and station within its bounds, for 
the relief of its necessitous superannuated and su- 
pernumerary ministers, widows, and orphans. — And 
the conference shall annually appoint a committee to 
estimate the several sums necessary to be allowed for 
the extra expenses of such necessitous claimants, who 
shall be paid in proportion to the estimates made and 
the moneys in hand." 

Quest. What advice or direction shall be given concerning 
the building or renting of dwelling houses for the use of the 
married travelling preachers 1 

1 800. " Arts. 1 . It is recommended by the General 
Conference to the travelling preachers, to advise our 
friends in general to purchase a lot of ground in each 
circuit, and to build a preacher's house thereon, and to 
furnish it with, at least, heavy furniture, and to settle 



Sec. 5.] Of raising annual Supplies. 281 

the same on trustees appointed by the official mem- 
bers of the quarter meeting, according to the deed 
of settlement published in our Form of Discipline. 

" 2 The General Conference recommend to the 
country circuits, in cases where they are not able to 
comply with the above request, to rent a house for the 
married preacher and his family, (when such are sta- 
tioned upon their circuits respectively,) and that the 
annual conferences do assist to make up the rents of 
such houses as far as they can, when the circuit cannot 
do it." 

1816. The following new paragraphs were added, 
namely : — 

"3. It shall be the duty of the presiding elders and 
preachers to use their influence to carry the above rules 
respecting building and renting houses for the accom- 
modation of preachers and their families into effect. 
In order to this, each quarterly meeting conference 
shall appoint a committee, (unless other measures have 
been adopted,) who, with the advice and aid of the 
preachers and presiding elders, shall devise such means 
as may seem fit to raise moneys for that purpose. And 
it is recommended to the annual conferences to make 
special inquiry of their members respecting this part 
of their duty. 

"4. Those preachers who refuse to occupy the 
houses which may be provided for them on the stations 
and circuits where they are from time to time appoint- 
ed, shall be allowed nothing for house rent, nor receive 
any thing more than quarterage for themselves, their 
wives, and children, and their travelling expenses. 
Nevertheless, this rule shall not apply to those preach- 
ers whose families are either established within the 
bounds of their circuits, or are so situated that in the 
judgment of the stewards, or the above-mentioned com- 
mittee, it is not necessary, for the benefit of the circuit, 
to remove them. 

" 5. It shall be the duty of the said committee, or 
one appointed for that purpose, who shall be members 



282 Of raising annual Supplies . [Part 2. 

of our church, to make an estimate of the amount ne- 
cessary to furnish fuel and table expenses for the family 
or families of preachers stationed with them, and the 
stewards shall provide, by such means as they may 
devise, to meet such expenses, in money or otherwise : 
provided the stewards shall not appropriate the moneys 
collected for the regular quarterly allowance of the 
preachers to the payment of family expenses. 

" 6. There shall be a meeting in every district, of 
one steward from each station and circuit, to be select- 
ed from among the stewards by the quarterly meeting 
conference, whose duty it shall be, by and with the 
advice of the presiding elder, (who shall preside in 
such meeting,) to take into consideration the general 
state of the district in regard to temporalities, and to 
furnish a house, fuel, and table expenses for the pre- 
siding elder." 

1834. The following new paragraphs were 
added : — 

" 7. The book agents and the book committee in 
New- York shall be a committee to estimate the amount 
necessary to meet the family expenses of the bishops, 
which shall be annually paid by the book agents out of 
the funds of the Book Concern. 

" 8." [A paragraph relating to the appointment of a 
committee on missions, at each conference, for which, 
with the subsequent changes in it, see Section 6, On 
Missions.] 

1838. The following added to paragraph 2, 
(1800) :— 

" The stewards of each circuit and station shall be 
a standing committee, (where no trustees are consti- 
tuted for that purpose,) to provide houses for the fami- 
lies of our married preachers, or to assist the preachers 
to obtain houses for themselves when they are appointed 
to labour among them." 

18 S3. Paragraph 7, of 1824, struck out, and 
the part about missions made a separate section. (See 
Section 6.) 



Sec. 6.] Of raising annual Supplies. 288 

1 836. The following clause added lo paragraph 
6 : — " and to apportion his entire claim among the dif- 
ierent circuits and stations in the district according to 
their several ability." 

The following provision made for estimating the 
allowance of a bishop, in lieu of the one struck out in 
1632:— 

" 7. Each annual conference, in which a bishop or 
bishops may reside, shall annually appoint a committee 
of three or more, whose duty it shall be to estimate the 
amount necessary to furnish a house, fuel, and table 
expenses for said bishop or bishops, and that they be 
authorized to draw on the funds of the Book Concern 
for said amount." 

1844. , After the words " said bishop or bishops" 
are inserted " subject to the action of the conference." 

1 85S. In the fifth paragraph, instead of, " let the 
various allowances agreed upon in the second" it now 
reads correctly, "the fourth" section. There is then 
added the following : — 

" But each annual conference shall have full power 
to determine, by a vote of two-thirds of all the mem- 
bers present and voting, who among the superannuated 
and supernumerary preachers, and the widows and 
orphans of deceased preachers belonging to the confer- 
ence, shall be claimants on the funds of said confer- 
ence, and what amount each claimant shall receive from 
year to year." 



284 Support of Missions, [Part 2. 

SECTION VI. 

Support of Missions. 

This first appears as a separate section in 1832, but 
provisions on the subject existed before. 

1 834. The following paragraph was appended to 
the section on " Raising annual Supplies, &c." 

" 8. (1.) It shall be the duty of each annual confer- 
ence, where missionaries are to be employed, to appoint 
a committee, whose duty it shall be, in conjunction 
with the president of the conference; to determine on 
the amount which may be necessary for the support of 
each missionary, (agreeably to the regulations of the 
Discipline,) from year to year, for which amount the 
president of the conference for the time shall have 
authority to draw on the treasurer of the society in 
quarterly instalments in behalf of the missions." 

1838. The following paragraphs added : — 

" (3.) It is recommended that within the bounds of 
each annual conference there be established a confer- 
ence missionary society, auxiliary to the Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with 
branches, under such regulations as the conferences 
respectively shall prescribe. Each conference mis- 
sionary society shall annually transmit to the corre- 
sponding secretary of the parent society a copy of its 
annual report, embracing the operations of its branches, 
and shall also notify the treasurer of the amount col- 
lected in aid of the missionary cause, which amount 
shall be subject to the order of the treasurer of the 
parent society. 

" (4.) The treasurer of the parent society, under the 
direction of the board of managers, shall give informa- 
tion to the bishops annually, or oftener, if the board 
judge it expedient, of the state of the funds and the 
sums which may be drawn by them for the missionary 



Sec. 6.] Support of Missions. 285 

purposes contemplated by the constitution. Agreeably 
to which information the bishops shall have authority 
to draw upon the treasurer for any sum within the 
amount designated, which the missionary committee of 
the annual conferences respectively shall judge neces- 
sary for the support of the missionaries and of the mis- 
sion schools under their care. Provided always, that 
the sums so allowed for the support of a missionary 
shall not exceed the usual allowance of other itinerant 
preachers. The bishops shall always promptly notify 
the treasurer of all drafts made by them, and shall 
require regular quarterly communications to be made 
by each of the missionaries to the corresponding secre- 
tary of the parent society, giving information of the 
state and prospects of the several missions in which 
they are employed. No one shall be acknowledged a 
missionary, or receive support out of the funds of the 
society, who has not some definite field assigned to 
him, or who could not be an effective labourer on a 
circuit. 

" (5.) In all cases of the appointment of a missionary, 
the name of such missionary and the district in which 
he is to labour, together with the probable expenses of 
the mission, shall be communicated by the bishop or 
the mission committee of each annual conference to the 
treasurer of the parent society, that a proper record of 
the same may be preserved. 

" (6.) In all places where drafts are drawn in favour 
of any mission, if there be funds in the possession of 
any auxiliary conference missionary society, where 
such mission is established, the drafts for the support 
of the mission shall be paid from said funds : if there 
be no auxiliary society, and there be money belonging 
to the Book Concern, the book committee or presiding 
elders, or preachers, shall pay the missionary drafts 
from the book money which may be in their posses- 
sion ; which drafts, when paid, shall be transmitted to 
the treasurer at New- York ; and in no case, where any 
19 



286 Support of Missions. [Part 2. 

such moneys are at command, shall the drafts be sent 
to the treasurer at New-York to be paid." 

1 S32« A distinct section was framed on this sub- 
ject, and the following alterations were made in the 
previous provisions : — 

Some change was made in the phraseology of para- 
graph 1, (1824,) but none in substance, except these: 
It required the mission committee to " keep a record 
of its doings, and report the same to its conference." 
And instead of saying that they are to estimate the 
amount "necessary for the support of the missionary, 
agreeably to the regulations of the Discipline," it says, 
" necessary for the support of each mission and mission 
school, in addition to the regular allowance of the 
Discipline to preachers and their families." 

The following was inserted as the second para- 
graph : — 

" 2. Whenever a mission is to be established in any 
new place, or in any place beyond the bounds of an 
annual conference, either among the aborigines of our 
country or elsewhere, it shall be the duty of the bishop 
making such appointment immediately to notify the 
treasurer of the Missionary Society of the place, the 
number of missionaries to be employed, together with 
the probable amount necessary for the support of any 
such mission, which information shall be laid before 
the managers of the society , and they shall make an 
appropriation according to their judgment, from year to 
year, of the amount called for to sustain and prosecute 
the mission or missions designated ; for which amount 
the missionary, or the superintendent of the mission 
or missions, shall have authority to draw on the 
treasurer of the society in quarterly or half-yearly 
instalments." 

183©. The following paragraphs were added : — 

" 7. The corresponding secretary shall, by virtue of 
his office, be a member of the New-York Conference, 
to which, in the interval of the General Conference, he 



Sec. 6.] Support of Missions. 287 

shall be held responsible for his conduct, and the New 
York Conference shall have power, by and with the 
advice of the managers of the Missionary Society of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and consent of the 
bishop presiding, to remove him from office ; and in 
case of removal, death, or resignation, the New-York 
Conference, with the concurrence of the presiding 
bishop, shall fill the vacancy until the next ensuing 
General Conference. 

" 8. (10.) It shall be the duty of the bishops to in- 
struct all our foreign missionaries, that whenever they 
come in contact with anv of the missionaries belonging 
to the Wesleyan Methodist Conference, they shall not 
interfere in their respective charges any further than to 
help them in their work when requested ; but shall, on 
all occasions, cultivate a spirit of friendship and brotherly 
affection, as brethren engaged in the same common 
cause, namely, the salvation of the world, by grace 
through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." 

1840. In paragraph 7, the word "resident" is 
left out of the secreiary's title, and the following new 
paragraphs are inserted : — 

" 8. There shall also be a secretary for the south 
and south-west, to labour in connection with the mis- 
sions to the slaves, and to attend to the interests of the 
Missionary Society in such way and manner as the 
board of managers" may direct. Should his office be- 
come vacant by death or otherwise, the board may fill 
the place until the next sitting of the annual conference 
to which he belongs, who shall then fill the vacancy 
until the next session of the General Conference. 

" 9. There shall be another secretary, to reside in 
the west, to labour in connection with the Indian mis- 
sions, and to attend to the interests of the Missionary 
Society in such way and manner as the board of mana- 
gers may direct. Should his office become vacant by 
death or otherwise, the board may fill the place until 
the next sitting of the annual conference to which he 



288 Support of Missions. [Part 2. 

belongs, who shall then fill the vacancy until the next 
session of the General Conference." 

1 844. The following new paragraphs were in- 
serted : — 

" 4. It shall be the duty of each annual conference 
to appoint some month within the conference year, in 
which missionary collections shall be taken up within 
their respective bounds, and also to make such arrange- 
ments concerning branch societies as may be deemed 
expedient. 

" 5. It shall be the duty of the presiding elders to 
bring the subject of our missions before the quarterly 
meeting conference of each circuit and station within 
their districts, as early in the conference year as may 
be practicable, and the quarterly meeting conference 
shall proceed to appoint a committee of not less than 
five, nor more than nine, all of whom shall be mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to be called 
the Committee on Missions, whose duty it shall be to 
aid the presiding elder and preacher in charge, in rais- 
ing missionary societies, taking up collections, and in 
any other way which the quarterly meeting conference 
may judge necessary for the purpose of raising mis- 
sionary funds ; such as having sermons preached, or 
lectures delivered, on the subject of missions, and the 
establishing of missionary prayer-meetings, for the 
promotion of the cause. 

" 6. It shall be the duty of the preachers in charge 
of circuits and stations to organize one or more mis- 
sionary societies in their respective charges, if it should 
be practicable ; to bear any name which the societies 
may choose ; provided always that these societies shall 
be auxiliary to the missionary society of the annual 
conference to which such charges may belong, and 
shall be governed by such rules and regulations as the 
annual conference may prescribe. It shall also be their 
duty to take up, or cause to be taken up, a missionary 
collection in each and every congregation within their 



Sec. 6.] Support of Missions. 289 

respective charges, at such time as may be fixed on by 
the annual conference. It shall be their duty, further, 
to appoint in every class within their charges a mis- 
sionary collector, who shall keep a book, in which 
shall be enrolled the names of all the members of the 
class, and shall collect from each member who shall 
feel disposed to contribute, at the rate of one cent 
per week, or fifty cents per year, and shall pay over 
the sums so collected to the preacher in charge, at or 
before the last quarterly meeting in the conference 
year ; and the preacher in charge shall transmit the 
same to the annual conference, together with such sums 
as may have been collected by him from the congre- 
gations, as well as all sums received from branch 
societies, or otherwise, all of which shall be reported in 
writing. 

" 7. It shall be the duty of the quarterly meeting 
conference, from time to time, to fill up vacancies 
which may occur in the missionary committee, which 
committee shall have the right to a seat in the quarterly 
meeting conference, during its action on the subject of 
missions, but at no other time. 

" 8. In order to keep up such missionary societies 
as may be established, it shall be the duty of the mis- 
sionary committee to use their best efforts to hold at 
least once a year a meeting of the missionary society 
within the charge to which they may belong ; in doing 
which they shall have the aid of the preacher in charge, 
and also of the quarterly meeting conference, if need be. 

" 9. It will be expected that in the examination in the 
annual conference a reference will be had to the faithful 
performance of the duty of preachers on this subject, 
in the passage of character. 

Paragraph 7, of 1836, and paragraphs 8 and 9, of 
1840, struck out, and the following substituted : — 

" 13. The corresponding secretary shall be a mem- 
ber of such annual conference as he may, with the 
approbation of the bishops, select. 



290 Support of Missions. [Part 2. 

" 14. For the purpose of more effectually adminis- 
tering the financial concerns of the Indian Mission 
Conference, as also promoting its spiritual welfare, 
there shall be a superintendent appointed by the bishop, 
who shall be a member of said conference, and reside 
within its bounds, to be continued in office for any 
time not exceeding four years. It shall be his duty to 
overlook all the accounts of the missionaries 'and the 
superintendents of schools, to attend to all the interests 
of our missions and schools within the bounds of said 
conference, as those interests may be connected with 
the government of the United States, and with the. 
Indian school fund. 

" He may visit Washington city once a year, oi 
oftener, if it be deemed necessary ; and also, as far as 
his time and circumstances will permit, and it may be 
judged necessary for the interests of the mission, visit 
the interior of the Indian country with a view to the 
extension of the work within his bounds. His salary 
shall not exceed the ordinary allowance of other itinerant 
preachers ; and his table and other expenses shall be 
estimated by the mission committee of the conference, 
for which amount he shall have authority to draw T on 
the treasurer of the Missionary Society, in quarterly 
instalments." 

1848. "4. Any annual conference may, at its 
option by a vote of two-thirds of its members, assume the 
responsibility of supporting such missions already estab- 
lished, or to be established, within its own limits, as 
have hitherto been reported under the head of ' Mis- 
sions in the Destitute Portions of the Regular Work ;' 
and for this purpose, it shall be at liberty to organize a 
Conference Domestic Society with branches ; provided 
such organization shall not interfere with the collections 
for the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, as required by the Discipline. Provided also, 
that in case more funds shall be raised for such missions 
than are needed, the surplus shall be paid over to the 



Sec. 6.] Support of Missions. 291 

treasurer of the parent society of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, at New-York, to be appropriated to such 
mission or missions, under the care of the society, as 
may be designated by said conference. It shall be the 
duty of every such Conference Domestic Society to 
send, annually, to the corresponding secretary at New- 
York, a fall and detailed account of the number, names, 
condition, and prospects, of each mission under its 
care ; and to the treasurer of the parent society at 
New- York, an account of its receipts, incidental ex- 
penses, and disbursements." 

" 17. It shall be the duty of all our missionaries, 
except those who are appointed to labour for the benefit 
of the slaves, to form their circuits into auxiliary mis- 
sionary societies, and to make regular quarterly and 
class collections wherever practicable, and report the 
amount collected every three months, either by endors- 
ing it on their drafts, or by transmitting the money to. 
the treasurer of the parent society." 

1853. Chapter iv. This chapter has been greatly 
altered : — 

1. Is an entire addition in the words following: — 

" 1. The support of missions is committed to the 
churches, congregations, and societies, as such." 

2 is the same as was formerly 1, except the omis- 
sion of the words to be denominated the Mission Com- 
?nittee, which are omitted. 

3 is new, as follows : — 

" 3. It shall be the duty of each annual conference 
to form within its bounds a Conference Missionary 
Society, which shall appoint its own officers, fix the 
terms of membership, and otherwise regulate its own 
administration. But it shall pay all its funds into the 
treasury of the parent, society." 

4, (formerly 6.) Makes it the duty of [each] presid- 
ing elder to bring the subject of our missions before 
the [first] quarterly conference in each 3^ear, instead of 
"as early in the conference year as may be practicable^ 



292 Support of Missions. [Part 2, 

It provides that the preacher in charge shall be chair- 
man of the committee on missions, which committee is 
to consist of not less than three, (formerly five,) " whose 
duty it shall be to aid the preacher in charge in carry- 
ing into effect the disciplinary measures for the support 
of our missions." The rest of the article is omitted. 

" 5. It shall be the duty of the preacher in charge, 
aided by the committee on missions, to provide for the 
diffusion of missionary intelligence in the church and 
congregation. 

" 6. It shall be the duty of the preacher in charge, 
aided by the committee on missions, to institute a 
monthly missionary prayer-meeting, or lecture, in each 
society, or church and congregation, wherever practi- 
cable, for the purpose of imploring the divine blessing 
on missions ; for the diffusion of missionary intelli- 
gence ; and to afford an opportunity for voluntary offer- 
ings in the missionary cause. 

" 7. It shall be the duty of the preacher in charge, 
aided by the committee on missions, to appoint mis- 
sionary collectors, and furnish them with suitable books 
and instructions, that they may call on each member 
of the society, or church and congregation, and on 
other persons, at their discretion, for his or her annual, 
semi-annual, quarterly, monthly, or weekly contribu- 
tions for the support of missions. Said collectors shall 
make monthly returns (unless otherwise instructed by 
the committee) to the preacher in charge, or to the 
missionary treasurer of the church, if there be such 
treasurer appointed by the committee on missions. 
Such returns shall be fairly entered in a book, which 
the committee shall provide, together with collections 
and contributions received from other sources. Such 
entries shall set forth the name of each collector, the 
real or assumed names of the contributors to each col- 
lector, with the amount contributed by each. 

" 8. Each preacher in charge shall report at confer- 
ence, to the executive committee, or board of managers 



Sec. 6.] Support of Missions. 293 

of the Conference Missionary Society, a plain transcript 
of the record of the returns provided for in sec. 7, com- 
prehending the name of each collector in his charge, 
and the name, real or assumed, of each contributor to 
each collector of fifty cents or upward during the year ; 
and the aggregate sum of all contributions under fifty 
cents each, that they may be by said executive com- 
mittee, or board of managers, properly arranged by 
districts, and by charges, for publication in the annual 
report of the Conference Missionary Society ; together 
with the contributions and collections received from 
other sources, unless the conference shall by vote 
declare such transcript returns, and such publication, 
not to be advisable. 

" 9. It shall be the duty of the preacher in charge, 
with the aid of the committee on missions, to present 
once in the year, to the societies, or the churches and 
congregations, the cause of missions, and to ask public 
collections and contributions for the support of the 
same. The manner of asking and taking such collec- 
tions and contributions shall be at the discretion of the 
pastor and the committee on missions, with this injunc- 
tion, that the pastor shall preach, or cause to be 
preached on the occasion, one or more sermons ; and 
with the recommendation that one whole Sabbath day 
be given to the cause, on this annual presentation of 
missions, in our principal churches and congregations. 

" 10. It is earnestly recommended that each Sunday 
school in our churches and congregations be organized 
into a Missionary Society, under such rules and regu- 
lations as the pastor, the superintendent, and teachers 
may prescribe. 

"11. Each annual conference shall designate the 
month or months in which the public collections and con- 
tributions for missions shall be taken within its bounds. 

" 12. The president of the conference, at each ses- 
sion, shall appoint one of its members, with an alter- 
nate, to preach a missionary sermon during its next 



294 Of the Chartered Fund. [Part 2. 

succeeding session, at such time and place as the offi 
cers of the Conference Missionary Society shall desig- 
nate, and said officers shall cause timely notice of such 
sermon to be published abroad." 

13 is the same as 10 of the former edition. 

" 14. Each presiding elder is charged with seeing 
that the foregoing provisions, as far as applicable to his 
district, are faithfully executed within his district." 

15 is 14 of the former edition. 

16 is the same as 4 of the former edition, omitting 
the words or to be established; and the latter period, 
making it the duty of such Conference Society to send 
reports to Neio-York, is omitted. 

1 852. A new chapter on Tracts was added. It 
is as follows : — 

" Of the Printing and Circulation of Religious Tracts. 

" 1. It is recommended to our people everywhere to 
form Tract Societies, auxiliary to the Tract Society of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

" 2. It is recommended to preachers in charge, to 
make annually in their several congregations, collec- 
tions in behalf of the Tract Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church." 



SECTION VII. 

Of the Chartered Fund. 

This section was first introduced in 1796. It was 
as follows : — 

1706. " Quest. 1. What further provision shall 
be made for the distressed travelling preachers, for the 
families of travelling preachers, and for the superan- 
nuated and worn-out preachers, and the widows and 
Drphans of preachers ? 



Sec. 1 J Of the Chartered Fund. 295 

" Ans. There shall be a chartered fund, to be sup- 
ported by the voluntary contributions of our friends : 
the principal stock of which shall be funded under the 
direction of trustees, and the interest applied under the 
direction of the General Conference, according to the 
following regulations :" — 

1. That no sum exceeding sixty-four dollars shall in 
any one year be applied to the use of an itinerant, 
superannuated, or worn-out single preacher. 

2. That no sum exceeding one hundred and twenty- 
eight dollars in any one year shall be applied to the use 
of any itinerant, superannuated, or worn-out married 
preacher. 

3. That no sum exceeding sixty-four dollars in any 
one year shall be applied for the use of each widow of 
itinerant, superannuated, or worn-out preachers. 

4. That no sum exceeding sixteen dollars shall be 
applied in any one year for the use of each child 
or orphan of itinerant, superannuated, or worn-out 
preachers. 

5. That the elders, and those who have the oversight 
of circuits, shall be collectors and receivers of subscrip- 
tions, &c, for this fund. 

6. The money shall, if possible, be conveyed by 
bills of exchange, through the means of the post, to 
John Dickins, our general book steward in Philadelphia, 
who shall pay it to the trustees of the fund : otherwise 
it shall be brought to the ensuing yearly conference. 

7. There shall be no money drawn out of the fund 
till the first day of August, 1798. 

8. The interest shall be divided into six* parts, and 
each of the yearly conferences shall have authority to 
draw that sixth part out of the fund, according to the 
regulations before prescribed : and if in one or more con- 
ferences a part less than one-sixth be drawn out of the 



c The number varies, from time to time, according to the number of 
conferences. 



296 Of the Chartered Fund. [Part 2. 

fund in any given year, then in such case or cases the 
other yearly conferences, held in the same year, shall 
have authority, if they judge it necessary, to draw out 
of the fund, according to the above regulation, such 
surplus of the interest which has not been applied by 
the former conferences ; and the bishops shall bring 
the necessary information of the state of the interest of 
the fund, respecting the year in question, from con- 
ference to conference. 

9. The present stock of the preachers' fund shall be 
thrown into the chartered fund. 

10. The produce of the sale of our books, after the 
book debts are paid, and a sufficient capital is provided 
for carrying on the business, shall be regularly paid into 
the chartered fund. 

11. The money subscribed for the chartered fund 
may be lodged on proper securities in the states re- 
spectively in which it has been subscribed, under the 
direction of deputies living in such states respectively; 
provided such securities and such deputies be proposed 
as shall be approved of by the trustees in Philadelphia; 
and the stock in which it is proposed to lodge the 
money be sufficiently productive to give satisfaction to 
the trustees. 

1 800. The following changes were made, 
namely : — The first four paragraphs were struck 
out. 

In paragraph 6 (2) it is provided that the money 
may be conveyed " by bills of exchange or otherwise," 
and the name of the book steward is left out. Para- 
graph 7 was omitted, and the following new paragraph 
was inserted : — 

" 4. All drafts on the chartered fund shall be made 
on the president of the said fund, by order of the annual 
conference, signed by the president, and countersigned 
by the secretary of the said conference." 

In paragraph 9, (5,) for " present stock," we have 
"old stock." At the end of paragraph 10, (6,) the 



Sec. V.] Of the Chartered Fund. 297 

following clause was added : — " to be applied, with the 
annual interest of the funded stock, to the support of 
the itinerant ministry, &c, agreeably to the design and 
rules of the chartered fund, and the twenty-sixth sec- 
tion of this Discipline." [Sec. 5, Part ii.] 

The following new paragraph was inserted : — 

" 7. In case of the death, expulsion from society, or 
resignation of one or more of the trustees of the char- 
tered fund, during the recess of the General Confer- 
ence, the Philadelphia Annual Conference is authorized, 
in such case, to elect one or more trustees to fill the 
place or places, so vacated, till the next General Con- 
ference." 

1 804. Paragraph 1 of 1796, and paragraph 7 of 
1800, were left. out. 

1 8 IS. Paragraph 9 of 1796 struck out. 

1848. Quest. 1, Answ. 3, the edition of 1848 
says : — " The interest shall be divided into thirty-nine 
parts, and each annual conference has authority to 
draw one thirty-ninth part," &c. In 1852, " thirty- 
eight" and " one thirty-eighth," &c. 

" Quest. 2. (Added this year.) " How shall vacancies 
in the board of trustees of the chartered fund be filled ? 

" Aiis. The board of trustees shall have power to 
fill any vacancy or vacancies that may occur in their 
body by death, resignation, or otherwise, subject, how- 
ever, to the approval of the first General Conference 
that may be held after such vacancy or vacancies shall 
have occurred." 

1856. Chapter v. Answer 3 of Question 1 is 
changed so as to read "forty-five parts." 



'298 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 



SECTION VIII. 

Of the printing and circulating of Books, and of 
the Profits arising therefrom. 

This subject was first introduced into the Dis- 
cipline in 

1787,* as follows:— 

"As it has been frequently recommended by the 
preachers and people, that such books as are wanted 
be printed in this country, we therefore propose, 

" 1. That the advice of the conference shall be de- 
sired concerning any valuable impression, and their 
consent be obtained before any steps be taken for the 
printing thereof. 

" 2. That the profits of the books, after all the ne- 
cessary expenses are defrayed, shall be applied, ac- 
cording to the discretion of the conference, toward the 
college, the preachers' fund, the deficiencies of the 
preachers, the distant missions, or the debts on our 
churches." 

1790. The last clause was altered, so as to pro- 
vide that the profits " be applied, as the bishop and 
Council! shall direct." 

1 79S. The following was substituted as the en- 
tire section : — 

" Quest. 1. Who is employed to manage the print- 
ing business ? 

" Ans. John Dickins. 

" Quest. 2. What allowances shall be paid him an- 
nually for his services ? 

" Ans. 1. Two hundred dollars for a dwelling house 
and for a book room. 

" 2. Eighty dollars for a boy. 

" 3. Fifty-three dollars and one-third for firewood ; 
and, 



* See Lee's Hist, of the Meth., p. 129. 

t " The Council" was a body that had a brief existence at that 
time. (See Lee's History of the Methodists, pp. 149-159.) 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 299 

" 4. Three hundred and thirty-three dollars to clothe 
and feed himself, his wife, and his children. In all, 
six hundred and sixty-six dollars and one-third. 

" Quest. 3. What powers shall be granted him ? 

" Ans. 1. To regulate the publications according to 
the state of the finances. 

■" 2. To determine, with the approbation of the book 
committee, on the amount of the drafts which may be 
drawn from time to time on the book fund. 

" 3. To complain to the district conferences if any 
preachers shall neglect to make due payment for 
books. 

" 4. To publish from time to time such books or 
treatises, as he and the other members of the book 
committee shall unanimously judge proper. 

" Quest. 4. Who shall form the book committee ? 

" Ans. John Dickins, Henry Willis, Thomas Has- 
kins, and the preacher who is stationed in Philadelphia 
from time to time. 

" Quest. 5. How much shall be annually allowed 
out of the book fund for Cokesbury College till the 
next General Conference ? 

"Ans. Eight hundred dollars for the ensuing year; 
and one thousand sixty-six dollars and two-thirds for 
each of the remaining three years. 

" Quest. 6. What directions shall be given concern- 
ing the application of the money allowed as above for 
Cokesbury College 1 

" Ans. The money shall be applied as follows : — 

" 1. For the education and board of the boys that 
are now on the charitable part of the foundation. But 
no boy shall be again placed on the charity till the next 
General Conference. 

" 2. The surplus of the money, after the charity is 
supplied, shall be from time to time appropriated to the 
payment of the debt of the college, and to the finishing 
of the building, under the direction of the bishop and 
the committee of safety. 

" N. B. The present debt of the college is about 



300 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

eleven hundred dollars. The present expense of the 
charity is about nine hundred and sixty-three dollars 
annually ; but this will probably sink into less than 
one-half before the next General Conference. 

" Quest. 7. What sum of money shall be allowed 
distressed preachers out of the book fund, till the next 
General Conference ? 

" Arts. Two hundred and sixty-six dollars and one- 
third per annum. 

" Quest. 8. How is the money mentioned above, for 
the benefit of distressed preachers, to be drawn out of 
the book fund ? 

" Ans. By the bishop, according to the united, judg- 
ment of himself and the, district conferences. 

" Quest. 9. What shall be allowed the bishop out 
of the book fund, for the benefit of district schools, till 
the next General Conference ? 

" Ans. Sixty-four dollars per annum. 

" Quest. 10. How shall the surplus of the book fund 
be applied till the next General Conference, after the 
provisions above mentioned are made ? 

" Ans. To the forming of a capital stock for the 
carrying on of the concerns of the books." 

170©« The following alterations were made: — 

Under Question 3, Answers 2 and 4 were struck 
out. Question 4 was struck out. Also all that relates 
to the college, (Questions 5 and 6,) it having been de- 
stroyed by fire the preceding year. 

Questions 9 and 10 struck out, and the following 
added : — 

" Quest. 6. In what manner shall the accounts of 
the general book steward be examined ? 

" Ans. The Philadelphia Conference shall from year 
to year appoint a committee, w T ho shall examine quar- 
terly his receipts and disbursements and other ac- 
counts. 

" Quest. 7. What mode shall be struck out for the 
recovery of bad or suspected book debts ? 

"Ans. 1. Let every yearly conference appoint a 



Sec. 8-.] Printing and circulating of Books. 301 

committee or committees for the examination of the 
accounts of the travelling book stewards in their re- 
spective districts. 

" 2. Let every presiding elder, and every preacher 
"who has the oversight of a circuit, do every thing in 
their power to recover all the debts in their circuit or 
district, and also all books which may remain in the 
hands of persons who shall have resigned, or been 
withdrawn from the office of a travelling book steward. 

" Quest. 8. Shall any drafts be made on the book 
fund before all its debts are discharged ? 

" Ans. There shall be none till the debts are dis- 
charged, except in the case of distressed travelling 
preachers. 

" Quest. 9. What directions shall be given concern- 
ing the regulation of our press ? 

" Ans. The general book steward shall print no 
books or tracts of any kind without the consent of a 
bishop and two-thirds of the Philadelphia Conference.* 

" Quest. 10. Will the conference recommend and 
engage to promote the publication of a magazine, en- 
titled, The Methodist Magazine, which shall consist 
of compilations from the British magazines, and of 
original accounts of the experience of pious persons, 
and shall be published in monthly numbers ? 

"Ans. The conference will recommend such a 
magazine, and desire that it may be printed." 



* In accordance with the direction of the General Conference, 
(Ques f . 6,) the Philadelphia Conference, in 1797, appointed a book 
committee, and the following note was entered on the Annual Minutes 
for that year : — 

" The above committee are to meet at Philadelphia on the 2d of 
January, 1798, and once a quarter afterward, or oftener if necessary, 
to consider and determine what manuscripts, books, or pamphlets 
shall be printed. 

" Four of the said committee, when met as above, shall proceed to 
business, provided that the chairman and one of the presiding elders 
be present. And the general book steward shall lay before the com- 
mittee all manuscripts, books, and pamphlets which are designed for 
publication, except such as the General Conference has authorized 
him to publish." 

20 



302 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2 

1800. The form of questions and answers laid 
aside, and the whole section remodelled as follows : — 

" 1. Ezekiel Cooper is appointed the superintendent 
of the Book Concern, who shall have authority to regu- 
late the publications, and all other parts of the business, 
according to the state of the finances from time to time. 
It shall be his duty to inform the annual conferences 
if any of the preachers or private members of the so- 
ciety neglect to make due payment. He may publish 
any books or tracts which, at any time, may be ap- 
proved of or recommended by the majority of an annual 
conference, provided such books or tracts be also ap- 
proved of by the book committee, which shall be ap 
pointed by the Philadelphia Annual Conference. He 
may reprint any book or tract which has once been 
approved and published by us, when, in his judgment, 
the same ought to be reprinted. Let his accounts and 
books be examined by the Philadelphia Conference at 
the time of the sitting of the said conference. 

" 2. It shall be the duty of every presiding elder, 
where no book steward is appointed, to see that his 
district be fully supplied with books. He is to order 
such books as are wanted, and to give direction to 
whose care the same are to be sent ; and he is to take 
the oversight of all our books sent into his district, and 
to account with the superintendent for the same. He 
is to have the books distributed among the several cir- 
cuits in his district, and is to keep an account with 
each preacher who receives or sells the books ; and is 
to receive the money, and to forward it to the super- 
intendent. When a presiding elder is removed, he is 
to make a full settlement for all the books sold or re- 
maining in his district ; and is also to make a transfer 
to his successor of all the books and accounts left with 
the preachers in the district, the amount of which shah 1 
go to his credit, and pass to the debit of his successor. 

"3. It shall be the duty of every preacher, who has 
the charge of a circuit, to see that his circuit be duly 
supplied with books, and to take charge of all the 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 303 

books which are sent to him, from time to time, or 
which may be in his circuit ; and he is to account with 
the presiding elder for the same. When a preacher 
leaves his circuit, he must settle with the presiding 
elder for all the books he has disposed of; he is also 
to make out an inventory of all that are remaining un- 
sold, which shall be collected at one place ; the amount 
of which shall go to his credit, and be transferred to 
his successor, who is to take charge of the same. If 
the preacher who has the charge of the circuit be 
negligent in dispersing the books, the presiding elder 
shall commit the charge of the books to another. 

* 4. The superintendent of the book business may, 
from time to time, supply the preachers with books in 
those circuits which are adjacent or convenient to 
Philadelphia, and settle with them for the same : in 
such cases the regulations respecting the presiding 
elders are not to apply. 

"5. In all cases where books are sent to distant places, 
the presiding elders or preachers shall be allowed to 
put a small additional price on such books as will best 
bear it, in order to pay the expense of freight or 
carriage : but the addition must not be more than what 
is necessary to defray such expenses. 

" 6. Every annual conference shall appoint a commit- 
tee or committees to examine the accounts of the presid- 
ing elders, preachers, and book stewards, in their respec- 
tive districts or circuits. Every presiding elder, minister, 
and preacher, shall do every thing in their power to re- 
cover all debts due to the Concern, and also all the books 
belonging to the Concern, which may remain in the 
hands of any person within their districts or circuits. 
If any preacher or member be indebted to the Book 
Concern, and refuse to make payment, or to come to a 
just settlement, let him be dealt with for a breach of 
trust, and such effectual measures be adopted for the 
recovery of such debts as shall be agreeable to the di- 
rection of the annual conferences respectively. 

" 7. There shall be no drafts made upon the Book 



304 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

Concern till its debts are discharged, and a sufficient 
capital provided for carrying on the business ; after 
which, the profits arising from the books shall be regu- 
larly paid to the chartered fund, and be applied, with the 
annual income of the funded stock, to the support of 
the distressed travelling preachers and their families, 
the widows and orphans of preachers, &c* 

" 8. It shall be the duty of the preacher or preachers 
who travel with any of the bishops, if he or they be au- 
thorized by the superintendent of the Book Concern, to 
act as an agent in the settlement of accounts, collecting 
money, or in transacting any business belonging to the 
Book Concern. 

" 9. In case of the death, dismission, or resignation of 
the superintendent, during the recess of the General Con- 
ference, the Philadelphia Conference shall have power 
to appoint another superintendent, till the next General 
Conference. 

" 10. No travelling preacher shall print or circulate 
any books or pamphlets, without the consent of the 
annual conference to which he belongs, except as an 
agent of the superintendent of the Book Concern. 

"11. The Form of Discipline shall be printed by itself, 
and the bishops' explanatory notes by themselves ; but 
in such a manner that the notes may be conveniently 
bound up with the Form of Discipline. And every 
presiding elder, preacher, or other person, who has the 
charge of the books, may send for as many copies of 
the Form as he pleases, with or without the notes." 

1 804. The following alterations were made :— 

The title, "superintendent of the Book Concern," 
which was adopted in 1800, was now dropped, and 
the old title, " general book steward," restored. 

Paragraph 1, begins, "The book business shall be 
removed to and carried on in the city of New-York. 
Ezekiel Cooper is reappointed general book steward, 



* This " &c," so singularly inappropriate in such a connection, has 
been perpetuated in every subsequent edition. 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 305 

who shall have authority, &c." It is further provided, 
that the publications shall be regulated not only by " the 
state of the finances," but also by '; the demands of the 
connection." For the rest of the paragraph, after the 
word "payment," the following is- substituted : "He 
shall publish such books and tracts as are recommend- 
ed by the General Conference, and such as may be 
approved of and recommended by an annual conference, 
and none other. But he may reprint any book or tract, 
which has once been approved of and published by us, 
when in his judgment, and the judgment of the book 
committee, the same ought to be reprinted. The 
book committee, consisting of five, shall be annually 
appointed by the New-York Conference, who shall, 
previous to each annual sitting, examine into the ac- 
counts of the general book steward, and report to the 
conference the state of the Concern. John Wilson is 
appointed assistant editor and general book steward ; 
and in case of the death or resignation of the editor ana 1 
general book steward, the assistant shall carry on the 
Concern till the sitting of the next New-York Confer- 
ence." 

In paragraphs 4 and 9, " Philadelphia" changed to 
" New-York." 

Paragraph 7 struck out, and the following substi- 
tuted • — 

"7. The profits arising from the Book Concern, after 
a sufficient capital to carry on the business is retained, 
phall be regularly applied to the support of the distress- 
ed travelling preachers and their families, the widows 
and orphans of preachers, &c. The general book 
steward shall every year send forward to each annual 
conference an account of the dividend which the seve- 
ral annual conferences may draw that year ; and each 
conference may draw for their proportionate part, on 
any person who has book money in hand, and the 
drafts, with the receipt of the conference thereon, shall 
be sent to the general book steward, and be placed to 
the credit of the person who paid the same. But each 



306 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

annual conference is authorized, at all events, to draw 
on the general book steward for one hundred dollars." 

Paragraphs 8, 10, and 11, of 1800, were struck out. 

!§#§. The following alterations were made : — 

The names of the general book steward and his as- 
sistant are omitted. 

Paragraph 4 is struck out ; also paragraph 5, and the 
following substituted for it : — 

"4. The Book Concern shall pay all the expense of 
the conveyance of books to presiding elders, until they 
are within the bounds of their districts." 

The last sentence of paragraph 7, of 1804, struck 
out. 

To paragraph 9, of 1800, (7,) the following sentence 
added : — " But no general book steward or editor in the 
Book Concern shall serve in that department for more 
than eight years successively." 

, A paragraph corresponding to No. 10, of 1800, 
(which was struck out in 1804,) restored as follows : — 
" 8. No travelling preacher is permitted to publish any 
book, or pamphlet, without the approbation of the an- 
nual conference to which he belongs, or of a committee 
chosen by them." 

1813. The following sentence, transferred from 
Part i, Sec. 12, (p. 146,) was added at the end of the 
section : — 

" It is recommended to the annual conferences to 
caution and restrict our preachers from improper pub- 
lications." 

1 §1@. In paragraph 1, (1804,) after the first sen- 
tence, the following was inserted : — 

" There shall be one editor and general book stew- 
ard, and an assistant to act under his direction, both of 
whom shall be chosen from among the travelling 
preachers, and by virtue of their appointment shall be 
members of the New-York Annual Conference, to whom, 
in the interval of the General Conference, they shall be 
responsible for their conduct in the book business. 
And the New- York Conference, in the interval of the 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 307 

General Conference, shall have power, if they deem it 
necessary, by and with the advice and consent of the 
bishops and book committee, to remove either of them ; 
and, in case of removal, death, or resignation, to appoint 
a successor to act until the next ensuing General Con- 
ference." 

It was now ordered (paragraph 1) that the publica- 
tions should be regulated " as the state of the finances 
will admit, and the demands may require." 

1 8 SO. The following alterations were made : — 
The general book steward, instead of being restricted 
from publishing any books but such " as are recom- 
mended by the General Conference," or " approved 
and recommended by an annual conference," was au- 
thorized to " publish any new work not before published 
by us, which shall be approved and recommended" by 
the book committee. 

The following new paragraphs were inserted : — 
" 2. There shall be a book agent who shall reside in 
Cincinnati, and manage the Concern in the western 
country, under the direction of the editor at New-York ; 
and who, by virtue of his appointment, shall be a mem- 
ber of the Ohio Annual Conference, under the same 
regulations by which the agents at New- York are 
members of the New-York Annual Conference. And 
the Ohio Conference shall appoint a committee of three, 
whose duty it shall be to examine the accounts of said 
agent and report to the said conference annually ; and 
in case of the death or resignation of the agent, the 
Ohio Conference shall have authority to appoint a suc- 
cessor until the sitting of the ensuing General Con- 
ference." 

"4. It shall be the duty of all presiding elders having 
accounts open with the Concern, to pay over to the 
agents annually, or oftener, all the money in their hands, 
or which may be due from them ; rendering, at the 
same time, an account of all the books remaining in 
their districts unsold; and it shall be the duty of 
preachers in circuits and stations, having accounts with 



308 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2., 

the presiding elder, to make settlements and render 
payments in a similar way." 

18SML The paragraph prohibiting travelling 
preachers from publishing without the approbation of 
conference (see 1808 and 1812) was struck out, and the 
following substituted : — 

" 9. Any travelling preacher who may publish any 
work or book of his own shall be responsible to his 
conference for any obnoxious matter or doctrine there- 
in contained." 

1838. The following alterations were made : — 

It is made the duty of the general book steward " also 
to send a copy of the annual exhibit to each of the 
several annual conferences, so as that such exhibit may 
be laid before said conferences, if possible, at their 
sessions next succeeding the making thereof." 

It is provided that the assistant shall carry on the 
Concern in case of the death or resignation of the gene- 
ral book steward, " or of the editor of the Christian Ad- 
vocate and Journal." 

The following new paragraph was inserted : — 

" 2. There shall be also an editor of the Christian Ad- 
vocate and Journal, (elected in the same way and for the 
same time as the editor and general book steward,) 
who shall have power, if need be, with the advice and 
consent of the book committee and book agents at New- 
York, to- employ an assistant. He shall have charge 
of the clerks in that department, and of all business 
connected with it, and shall be responsible for its due 
and efficient management. He shall also edit and pub- 
lish the Child's Magazine, Sunday school books and 
tracts, and be ex officio a member of the New-York 
Book Committee." It was provided that only four of 
the book committee should be chosen by the New- 
York Conference, the fifth being the editor of the Chris- 
tian Advocate and Journal. 

But the most important of all the alterations was the 
striking out of all the paragraphs relating to the old sys- 
tem of selling books on commission, (see 2, 3, of 1800, 



Sec 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 309 

4 of 1808, and 4 of 1820,) in place of which the fol- 
lowing were substituted : — 

" 5. No books shall hereafter be issued on commis- 
sion, either from New-York or Cincinnati." 

"7. At each annual conference next ensuing the 
passage of this resolution, the presiding elders shall de- 
liver into the hands of the book agents, (or book com- 
mittee of such conference,) for all the books in the seve- 
ral circuits and stations in their districts, the receipts of 
those persons in whose care such books shall have 
been left. After the appointments for the year ensuing 
have been announced, the agents or book committee 
shall give to each preacher the receipts belonging to 
his circuit or station, retaining an exact account of the 
amount called for by such receipts, which shall be 
charged against said preacher, and accounted for by 
him at the next annual conference ; provided, that the 
several presiding elders shall be at equal liberty to sell any 
such books on the same terms and principles with other 
preachers, and shall account therefor with the preachers 
to whom they have been charged, or with the agents or 
the book committees of their respective conferences." 

1 83S2. The first part of the section was remo- 
delled as follows : — 

" 1. The principal establishment of the book busi- 
ness shall be in the city of New-York ; and there shall 
be such subordinate establishments in other places as 
the General Conference may deem expedient. 

" 2. There shall be one editor appointed to take 
charge of the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Re- 
view, and all the editorial business of the Book Con- 
cern, not included in the department of our other peri- 
odical works. 

" There shall be another editor, to whose superin- 
tendency shall be assigned the Christian Advocate and 
Journal and Zion's Herald, Youth's Instructor and Sab- 
bath School and Bible Class Assistant, Child's Maga- 
zine, Sunday-school books and tracts ; and in this de- 
partment there shall be an assistant editor. 



310 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

"3. There shall be an agent, or general book stew- 
ard, and an assistant, who shall act as chief clerk, both 
of whom, together with the editors and assistant 
editor, shall be chosen from among the travelling 
preachers, &c." 

The other provisions in regard to the jurisdiction of 
the New- York Conference, the term of office, and the 
duties and powers of the general book steward, remain 
ed substantially the same, except that " what belongs 
to editorial departments" is exempted from being regu- 
lated by him, and for the republication of a work before 
published at the Book Room, it was sufficient that it 
meet the judgment of the agent and of the editors, and 
for the publication of a new work he must have the 
approbation both of the editors and of the book com- 
mittee. 

The annual exhibit was now required to be sent to the 
conferences, " as early as possible after it shall have 
been prepared." 

The following new organization of a book committee 
was adopted : — 

" 5. The book committee shall consist of seven mem- 
bers, to be chosen annually by the New- York Annual 
Conference, and the three editors as herein before pro- 
vided for. It shall be their duty to examine annually 
into the state of the Book Concern, to inspect the ac- 
counts of the agents, to make a report thereof annually 
to the New-York Conference, and to the General Con- 
ference at its regular sessions. They shall also attend 
to such matters as may be referred to them by the 
editors or agents in reference to editing, printing, or 
publishing, and also to co-operate with the editor of 
the Christian Advocate in the selection of Sunday- 
school books and tracts." 

In the paragraph respecting the Western Book Con 
cern, such changes are made in the phraseology as the 
changes at New-York required ; and the following sub- 
stantial ones, namely : — an assistant is appointed to the 
book agent there ; the book committee was to consist 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 311 

of five, and it. is made their duty to report also "to the 
General Conference at its session," " and to give advice 
in any matters in reference to the branch in the west." 

The following new paragraph was inserted : — 

" 7. There shall also be a general depository for our 
books, Sunday-school books, and tracts, at New-Orleans, 
under the charge of an agent elected by the General 
Conference, which shall bear the same relation to the 
general agency in New-York as the branch establish- 
ment at Cincinnati does, and be nndev the same respon- 
sibilities ; and the same to the Mississippi Conference, 
which that at Cincinnati does to the Ohio Conference." 

In the sentence relating to those who refuse to make 
payment'to the Book Concern, the word " person" is 
inserted before " preacher, or member," and it is di- 
rected that they shall be " dealt with in the same man- 
ner as is directed in other cases of debt and disputed 
accounts." 

The following new paragraphs were added : — 

" 13. No editor, agent, or clerk, employed in the Book 
Concern, or in any department belonging to it, shall be 
allowed in any case to publish or sell books as his own 
private property. 

" 14. The editors, the general book steward, and book 
committee at New-York, shall be authorized to adopt 
such measures as they may deem expedient, and as 
shall be found practicable, to secure the premises on 
Mulberry-street for the uses and purposes for which 
the purchase was made, and the buildings erected." 

183©. The following alterations were made: — 
The branches of the Book Concern are no longer 
spoken of as " subordinate." 

The entire editorial department at New-York is 
committed to one editor and an assistant. 

The provision that the officers of the Book Concern 
should not continue in office longer than eight years, 
struck out. 

Still another organization of the book committee was 
adopted, as follows : — 



312 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2 

"5. The book committee in New- York shall consist 
of all the preachers stationed for the time being in that 
city by the New-York xlnnual Conference, including 
the editors, the resident corresponding secretary of the 
Missionary Society, and the presiding elder of the dis- 
trict." Their duties remain the same. 

Some changes were made in the establishment at 
Cincinnati. The agents in the west were to manage 
the Concern so " as to co-operate with the agents at 
New-York." The following clause, increasing the busi- 
ness of the establishment, was inserted : — " They shall 
have authority to publish any book in our catalogue, 
when in their judgment and that of the book committee 
it shall be advantageous to the interests of the church ; 
provided, that they shall not publish type editions of 
such books as are stereotyped in New-York. And 
there shall be an editor and an assistant editor, who 
shall have charge of the Western Christian Advocate, 
and all the editorial business of this establishment ; 
and who, together with the agent and assistant agent, 
shall be chosen from among the travelling preach- 
ers, &c." 

The book committee was to " consist of seven mem- 
bers, including the editors." It was provided that "the 
proceeds of this establishment, with the exception of 
what may be necessary to conduct the business, shall 
be paid annually to the agents at New-York, to be 
added to the profits arising from that Concern, and 
appropriated for the same purposes." 

The following provision was made for the erection 
of a building at Cincinnati : — 

" The agents at Cincinnati shall be authorized, with 
the advice and consent of the book committee, to pro- 
cure ground, and erect a suitable building for a print- 
ing office, book room, and bindery ; and for this end 
they shall be allowed to appropriate such moneys in 
their hands as can be spared, together with any dona- 
tions that may be made to the Concern in the west for 
that purpose. " 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 313 

Paragraph 7 of 1832 was struck out, and the follow- 
ing new paragraphs were inserted : — 

" 7. In addition to the Christian Advocate and Jour- 
nal, and the Western Christian Advocate, there shall 
be a similar paper established in the following places, 
namely, Charleston, S. C, Richmond, Va., and Nash- 
ville, Tenn., to be conducted under the direction and 
patronage of this conference ; provided, that before any- 
such paper shall be commenced, three thousand sub- 
scribers shall be obtained, or subscriptions amounting 
to six thousand dollars. And the annual conference, 
within whose bounds such paper shall be established, 
shall appoint from their own members a publishing 
committee, consisting of three, whose duties shall be 
similar to those of the book committees of New-York 
and Cincinnati, so far as they may be applicable to 
those establishments. 

" 8. The editors for the papers at Charleston and 
Nashville shall be elected by this conference, and the 
Virginia Conference is authorized to elect an editor for 
the paper at Richmond, until the next General Confer- 
ence. And in case of vacancy by death, resignation, 
or otherwise, in either of the other establishments, the 
annual conference, where it is located, shall have au- 
thority to fill such vacancy as above provided. 

" 9. The publishing committee in each of these 
establishments shall keep an account of the receipts 
and expenditures for the paper, correspond with the 
agents at New-York, hold all moneys, after defraying 
current expenses, subject to their order, and shall re- 
port annually on the state of the establishment to their 
conference, and to the agents at New-York. And 
whenever it shall be found that such papers do not fully 
support themselves, it shall be the duty of the annual 
conferences, within whose bounds they are established, 
to discontinue them. 

" 10. The annual conferences are affectionately and 
earnestly requested not to establish any more confer- 
ence papers ; and where such papers exist, they may 



314 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2 

be discontinued when it can be done consistently with 
existing obligations. 

"11. It is inexpedient to establish any new deposi- 
tories of books at present ; but if, in the interval of the 
General Conference, the presiding bishop of any an- 
nual conference shall concur with said conference in 
opinion, that it is expedient to establish a book store 
within their bounds, in such case the agents, both at 
New- York and Cincinnati, shall have authority to sell 
books to such conference book store, at a discount of 
forty per centum, without involving any pecuniary re- 
sponsibility on the part of the Book Concern. 

" 12. The salaries for the support of editors and 
agents in all our book and periodical establishments 
shall be fixed by the book or publishing committees in 
the several places for which such editors and agents 
are appointed." 

1 840. The following alterations were made : — 

In the establishment at Neiv-York, 

A change was made in the editorial department, as 
follows : — 

" 2. There shall be an editor of the Methodist Quar- 
terly Review, general books, and tracts ; and an editor 
and an assistant editor for the Christian Advocate and 
Journal, the Youth's Magazine, and the sabbath-school 
books, who, if chosen from among the travelling preach- 
ers, shall, by virtue of their appointment, be members 
of the New-York Conference, to which, in the interval 
of the General Conference, they shall be responsible 
for their conduct in office." 

The clause requiring the assistant agent to act as 
chief clerk was struck out. 

The advice and consent of the book committee (see 
1816) no longer required for the removal of agents and 
editors from office. 

The agent is not required to publish books recom- 
mended by an annual conference, unless also " ap- 
proved by the editors and book committee." 



Sec. 8J Printing and circulating of Books. 315 

In the establishment at Cincinnati, 

The powers and duties of the agents were tnus de- 
fined : — 

" 7. They shall have authority to publish any book 
or tract which has been previously published by the 
agents at New- York, when in their judgment, and in 
the judgment of the book committee, the demand for 
such publication will justify, and the interest of the 
church require it. Provided they shall not reprint our 
large works, such as the Commentaries, quarto Bible, 
Wesley's and Fletcher's Works, or any other work 
containing more than seven hundred pages. 

" 8. They shall publish such books and tracts as 
are recommended to them for publication by the 
General Conference ; and they may publish any new 
work which shall be approved by the editors, and re- 
commended by the book committee at Cincinnati, or 
by an annual conference." 

The editors there, as well as those at New-York, 
allowed to be other than travelling preachers. A Ger- 
man department was established there, as follows : — 

" 10. There shall be an editor in the German de- 
partment, who shall have charge of the Christian 
Apologist, and perform all the editorial duties neces- 
sary in the printing of such books and tracts as may 
be recommended to the agents as above, for publica- 
tion in the German language." 

The following new paragraphs were inserted, re- 
specting this establishment : — 

"11. The Ohio Conference shall exercise the same 
jurisdiction over said agents and editors that the New- 
York Conference does over the agents and editors at 
\ T ew-York." 

" 13. All books or printed sheets ordered by the 
agents of the Concern from New-York shall be charged 
at cost prices. 

"14. It shall be the duty of the agents to report the 
state of the western division of the Book Concern to 



SI 6 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

all the annual conferences yearly, and to inform the 
respective conferences of any within their bounds who 
fail to make payment, that measures may be taken to 
collect, or secure such debts." 

The number of the book committee then was in- 
creased to nine. 

The disposition of their funds was thus arranged : — 

" 16. The agents of this establishment shall remit 
to the agents at New York during the current year as 
largely and frequently as their funds will allow, and to 
the full amount of stock furnished, if practicable. They 
shall also remit any surplus funds that may be in their 
hands after defraying the expense of conducting their 
business, which shall be added to the profits of the 
Concern at New-York, and appropriated to the same 
purposes." 

The former paragraph respecting the erection of 
buildings, struck out. 

In regard to periodicals, an additional paper was 
taken under the patronage of the conference, at Pitts- 
burgh. " A periodical for females and the Christian 
Apologist" are to be published at Cincinnati. The 
editors of all the branch " Advocates" are to be elected 
by the General Conference. 

In regard to depositories, the . following new pro- 
visions were made : — 

"21. There shall be a depository of our books at 
Charleston, S. C, at Pittsburgh, Pa., and at Boston, 
Mass., furnished by the agents at New-York with full 
supplies of the books of our General Catalogue, Sun- 
day-school books and tracts, to be sold for the Concern 
on the same terms as at New-York. Provided, that 
there shall not be more than twenty-five thdusand 
dollars' worth of books at any one time at Charleston, 
nor more than fifteen thousand dollars' worth at Pitts 
burgh, nor more than ten thousand dollars' worth at 
Boston. 

" 22. The expenses incident to the transportation, 
management, and sale of our books at these deposito- 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 31*7 

ries, having been met out of the sales according to an 
arrangement with the agents at New-York, the nett 
proceeds shall be forwarded to said agents as fast as 
possible. 

" 23. Full statements shall be made to the agents at 
New- York semi-annually, at dates fixed by them, of 
the amount of sales, and of expenses ; distinguishing 
cash sales from those on credit. And also, annual 
statements shall be made of the amount of stock. 

" 24. If it shall appear to the agents at New-York 
that the business at either of the depositories is not 
well managed, or that remittances are not duly made, 
they shall give notice thereof to the committee or com 
missioners acting for the annual conference, or to the 
annual conference, who shall immediately correct the 
error complained of, or cause the affairs of the deposi- 
tory to be wound up." 

1 844. The substance of this section, which has 
been considerably altered, is presented below : — 

1. This paragraph remains as before. 

" 2. There shall be an editor of the Methodist Quar- 
terly Review and general books ; and an editor and an 
assistant editor for the Christian Advocate and Journal, 
who, if chosen from among the travelling preachers, 
shall be members of such conferences as they may, 
with the approbation of the bishops, select. There 
shall be an editor at New-York of Sunday-school 
books and tracts, whose duty it shall be, in connection 
with the book agents, to superintend all such publica- 
tions issued at our Book Room, and to have charge of 
the Sunday-School Advocate or other Sunday-school 
periodicals, and he shall be subject to the same regula- 
tions and restrictions which govern the other editors in 
New- York. 

" 3. There shall be an agent and an assistant agent, 
both of whom shall be chosen from among the travel- 
ling preachers, and shall be members of such confer- 
ences as they may, with the approbation of the bishops, 

select 

21 



318 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part. 2. 

" 4. The agents shall have authority to regulate the 
publications and all other parts of the business of the 
Concern, except what belongs to the editorial depart- 
ments, as the state of the finances will admit, and the 
demands may require. It shall be their duty to send 
an exhibit of the state of the Book Concern at New- 
York to each session of the annual conferences, and 
report quadrennially to the General Conference. They 
shall also inform the conferences of any within their 
respective bounds who neglect to make payment, that 
measures may be taken to collect or secure such debts; 
and they shall not allow any claim to run beyond one 
year from the time it was due, without reporting it to 
the conference-. They shall publish such books and 
tracts as are recommended by the General Conference, 
and may, if approved by the editors, publish such as 
are recommended by the book committee at New- 
York, or recommended by an annual conference ; and 
they may reprint any book or tract which has been 
once approved and published by us, when, in their judg- 
ment, and in the judgment of the editors, the same 
ought to be reprinted ; or they may publish any new 
work which may be approved by the editors. 

" 5. The book committee at New-York shall consist 
of six travelling ministers and the editors. The annual 
election of two by the New-York, two by the Phila- 
delphia, and two by the New-Jersey Conference, shall 
constitute the six members of the committee. It shall 
be the duty of the book committee to examine into the 
condition of the Book Concern, to inspect the accounts 
of the agents, and make a report thereof yearly to the 
three conferences named above, and to the General 
Conference. They shall also attend to such matters 
as may be referred to them by the editors or agents for 
their action or counsel. And they shall have power 
to suspend an editor or agent from his official relation 
as such, if they judge it necessary for the interests of 
the Church and the Concern. And a time shall be 
fixed, at as early a day as practicable, for the investiga 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 319 

tion of the official conduct of the said editor or agent, 
at which two or more of the bishops shall be requested 
to attend ; and by the concurrence of the bishops 
present, and of the majority of the committee, he may 
be removed from office in the interval of the General 
Conference. And in case a vacancy occurs in any of 
the agencies or editorial departments authorized by the 
General Conference, it shall be the duty of the book 
committee, and two or more of the general superin- 
tendents, as soon as practicable, to provide for such 
vacancy until the next General Conference." 

6. This paragraph, respecting the agents at Cincin- 
nati, remains as before, except that they are allowed 
the same choice of a conference as the agents at New- 
York. 

7, 8, same as corresponding paragraphs of 1840, 
only strike out the words " and recommended by the 
book committee at Cincinnati, or by an annual con- 
ference," and substitute, " and may publish any work 
recommended by the book committee at Cincinnati, 
or by an annual conference, if approved by the editors." 

" 9. There shall be an editor of the Ladies' Reposi- 
tory, general books and tracts, except those in the Ger- 
man language, and an editor of the Western Christian 
Advocate, who, if chosen from among the travelling 
preachers, shall be members of such conferences as 
they may, with the approbation of the bishops, select." 

10. Same as before. 

"11. Printed sheets, ordered by the agents from 
New-York, shall be sent at fifty per cent., and bound 
books of the General Catalogue at forty per cent., dis- 
count from the retail prices; and those ordered from 
Cincinnati to New-York to be sent on the same terms, 
the agency sending the books to be charged with the 
expense of transportation. 

" 12. It shall be the duty of the agents to send an 
exhibit of the state of the Book Concern at Cincinnati 
to each session of all the annual conferences, and report 
quadrennially to the General Conference. They shall 



320 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

also inform the conferences of any within their re- 
spective bounds who neglect to make payment, that 
measures may be taken to collect or secure such debts; 
and they shall not allow any claim to run beyond one 
year from the time it was due without reporting it to 
the conference. 

" 13. The book committee of this department of the 
Book Concern shall consist of six members in addition 
to the editors, to be chosen annually, two by the Ohio, 
two by the Kentucky, and two by the Indiana Con- 
ference, whose powers and duties, in reference to this 
establishment, shall be the same as those of the book 
committee at New-York in relation to the Concern 
there. 

" 14. The agents of this establishment shall remit 
to the agents at New-York during the current year as 
largely and frequently as their funds will allow, and to 
the full amount of stock furnished, if practicable. They 
shall also remit any surplus funds that may be in their 
hands after defraying the expense of conducting their 
business, which shall be added to the profits of the 
Concern at New-York, and appropriated to the same 
purposes. 

" 15. Every annual conference shall appoint a com- 
mittee, who, in the absence of the agent, shall attend 
to the collection of the accounts sent out from the Book 
Concern, and return an accurate report of the same. 
They shall also report to the conference any claims 
which may have been one year due, that they may be 
collected or secured. Every presiding elder, minister, 
and preacher, shall do everything in his power to re- 
cover all debts due to the Concern, for books or peri- 
odicals, within the bounds of his charge. If any per- 
son, preacher or member, be indebted to the Book 
Concern, and refuse or neglect to make payment, or to 
come to a just settlement, let him be dealt w r ith in the 
same manner as is directed in other cases of debt and 
disputed accounts. See chap, i, sec. 10. 

" 16. Whenever a member of an annual conference 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books. 321 

applies for a location, it shall be asked in all cases, Is 
he indebted to the Book Concern ? and if it be ascer- 
tained that he is, the conference shall require him to 
secure said debt, if they judge it at all necessary or 
proper, before they grant him a location. Whenever 
any claimant on the funds of a conference shall be in 
debt to the Book Concern, the conference of which he 
is a member shall have power to appropriate the 
amount of, such claim, or any part thereof, to the pay- 
ment of said debt." 

17. The weekly papers same as before, with the 
addition of the Northern Christian Advocate, at Auburn, 
N. Y. The following sentence respecting its com- 
mittee takes the place of the last sentence of this 
paragraph (as in 1840) respecting periodical for females 
and Christian Apologist : — " The publishing committee 
shall be appointed by the Oneida, Genesee, and Black 
River Conferences, and shall consist of two members 
from each of these conferences." 

18-24, inclusive, as before. 

" 25. The salaries for the support of editors and 
agents in all our book and periodical establishments 
shall be fixed by the General Conference, or by com- 
mittees appointed by that body." 

26. As before. 

27. Merged in Paragraph 15. 

28. 29, 30, (now 27, 28, 29,) same as before. 
31. Struck out. 

1 848. The words " assistant editor of the Chris- 
tian Advocate" struck out. 

An alteration is made in "the Book Committee" 
and the mode of raising it. Formerly it included the 
editors and six travelling preachers, chosen annually, 
two each, by the New-York, the Philadelphia, and the 
New-Jersey Conferences. Now it is made " to consist 
of seven travelling'ministers to be chosen by the Gen- 
eral Conference," and they have " power to fill any 
vacancy that may occur in their own body." Formerly 
they were required to report annually to the three con- 



322 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

ferences above-named ; now, " to all the annual con- 
ferences." 

Instead of, There shall be an establishment of, [the 
Book Concern at Cincinnati,] it now reads, "There 
shall be an agent and an assistant agent to conduct," 
&c. The following is added to this section : — 

" The agents at New-York shall fill the orders for 
the agents at Cincinnati for the plates of such books or 
tracts ; and when the agents at New-York are about to 
issue any new work of less than seven hundred pages, 
they shall, when practicable, give notice to the agents 
at Cincinnati, and furnish, if ordered by them, duplicate 
plates, which, with the above, shall be at cost." 

The book committee of this department is to " con- 
sist of seven travelling ministers to be chosen by the 
General Conference," instead of six members in addi- 
tion to the editors, chosen by the Ohio, Kentucky, and 
Indiana Conferences, as heretofore. 

Provision for the publication of papers and for the 
election of editors at Charleston, S. C, Richmond, Va., 
Nashville, Tenn., is struck out. "East Genesee" is 
added to the conferences from which two members of 
the publishing committee for the Northern Christian 
Advocate are to be chosen. 

185®. Chap. vi. 2. "With the approbation of 
the bishops," now " bishop." 

Instead of, There shall be an editor of Sunday-school 
books and tracts, it now reads, " Sunday-school publi- 
cations." There is added : — - 

" The editor of Sunday-school publications shall 
also be the corresponding secretary of our Sunday- 
School Union." 

3. (Added 1852):— 

" 3. There shall be at New- York an editor of a 
monthly magazine and of tracts, who shall be subject 
to the same regulations and restrictions which govern 
other editors at New- York, and who shall also be the 
corresponding secretary of our Tract Society : as edi- 
tor of Tracts, he shall have charge of the publication 



Sec. 8.] Printing and circulating of Books, 323 

of tracts in our own and foreign languages ; as corre- 
sponding secretary of the Tract Society, it shall be his 
duty to raise funds in behalf of the society, to promote 
the formation of Conference and other auxiliaries, to 
co-operate with the auxiliary societies, to make all 
proper efforts for the general diffusion of religious read- 
ing, and to make arrangements with the book agents 
for the cheap publication of any book or books, specially 
adapted to promote evangelical and practical religion." 

10 (formerly 9) now reads as follows. The additions 
made in 1852 are in brackets : — 

" 10. In addition to the Christian Advocate and 
Journal, and the Western Christian Advocate, there 
shall be similar papers established in Pittsburgh, Pa. ; 
Auburn, New-York ; [Chicago, 111. ; St. Louis, Mo. ; 
(when the agents at Cincinnati deem it advisable ;) and 
San Francisco, California. The Pittsburgh Conference 
shall appoint from their own members a publishing 
committee, consisting of three, whose duties shall be 
similar to those of the book committees of New-York 
and Cincinnati, so far as they may be applicable to the 
Pittsburgh Christian Advocate.] In the case of the 
Northern Christian Advocate, the publishing committee 
shall be appointed by the Oneida, Genesee, East 
Genesee, Black River, and [Wyoming] Conferences, 
and shall consist of one member* from each of these 
conferences, to be chosen annually. [There shall be 
a publishing committee for the Northwestern Christian 
Advocate, consisting of one member from each of the 
following conferences, to be selected by the conferences 
respectively ; namely, Rock River, Michigan, North- 
western Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Winconsin ; whose 
duty shall be similar to that of the book committee at 
New-York and Cincinnati, so far as it may be applicable 
to the establishment. A committee of one from the 
Illinois, one from the Southern Illinois, one from the 
Iowa, one from the Arkansas, and one from the Mis- 
souri Conferences, to be selected by the conferences 

° Two members, 1848. 



324 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2, 

respectively, shall superintend the publication of the 
paper authorized to be published at St. Louis, Mo. ; 
and on the nomination of said committee and recom- 
mendation of the Missouri Conference, the presiding 
bishop shall be requested to appoint an editor for said 
paper, when the book agents at Cincinnati shall have 
determined on its publication ; and the duties of said 
committee shall be similar to those of the publishing 
committee at Chicago. There shall be a publishing 
committee, consisting of four members, to be selected 
by the California, and one by the Oregon annual con- 
ference, whose duties shall be similar to the book com- 
mittees at New-York and Cincinnati, so far as they 
maybe applicable to the California Christian Advocate.] 1 ' 

11 is a new paragraph, as follows : — 

"11. The editors of the papers at Pittsburgh, Au- 
burn, Chicago, and San Francisco, shall be elected by 
the General Conference. And in case of vacancy by 
death, resignation, or otherwise, in either of these estab- 
lishments, the annual conference where it is located 
shall have authority to fill such vacancy as above 
provided." 

12, 13, (formerly 11, 12,) remain as they were. 

14, (formerly 13.) Charleston, S. C, as a book 
depository, is struck out, and San Francisco, Cal., is 
added. The limit of $25,000 worth of books at 
Charleston is also struck out. There is added : — 

" There shall also be a depository at Chicago, 111., 
arid one at St. Louis, Mo., to be supplied by the agents 
at Cincinnati. Depositories shall also be established 
at Buffalo and Auburn, N. Y., and Washington, D. C, 
at the discretion of the New- York Book Agents." 

The rest of the chapter remains as it was. 

1 856. Chapter vi, sections 10 and 1 1, are stricken 
out, and the following inserted : — 

" In addition to the Christian Advocate and Journal 
and the Western Christian Advocate, there shall be 
published the Pittsburgh Christian Advocate, at Pitts- 
burgh, Pa., the Northern Christian Advocate, at Au- 



Sec. 9.] Printing and circulating of Books. 325 

burn, N. Y. ; and the Northwestern Christian Advo- 
cate, at Chicago, 111. ; also, as soon as arrangement.? 
to that effect shall be completed by the book agents 
at New-York and Cincinnati, according to the in- 
structions of the General Conference, there shall be 
published the Central Christian Advocate, at St. Louis, 
Mo. ; the Pacific Christian Advocate, at Salem, Oregon ; 
and the California Christian x^dvocate, at San Fran- 
cisco, Cal. 

" There shall also be a publishing committee for 
each of the above-named papers, to be appointed as 
hereinafter named, whose duties shall be similar to 
those of the book committees at New-York and Cin- 
cinnati, so far as they may be applicable to the estab- 
lishments under their supervision. 

" The publishing committee of the Pittsburgh Chris- 
tian Advocate shall consist of two members from each 
of the following conferences, to be chosen annually by 
the conferences respectively, namely : Two by the Pitts- 
burgh, two by Erie, and two by the Western Virginia. 

" The publishing committee of the Northern Chris- 
tian Advocate shall consist of one member from each 
of the following conferences, to be chosen annually by 
the conferences respectively, namely : Genesee, East 
Genesee, Oneida, Black River, and Wyoming Con- 
ferences. 

" The publishing committee of the Northwestern 
Christian Advocate shall consist of one member from 
each of the following conferences, to be chosen annually 
by the conferences respectively, namely : Michigan, 
Detroit, Northwestern Indiana, Rock River, Illinois, 
Iowa, Upper Iowa, Peoria, Wisconsin, and West Wis- 
consin Conferences. 

" The publishing committee of the Central Christian 
Advocate shall consist of one member of each of the 
following conferences, to be chosen annually by the 
conferences respectively, namely : Illinois, Southern 
Illinois, Iowa, Upper Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, and 
the Kansas and Nebraska Conferences. 



326 Printing and circulating of Books. [Part 2. 

The publishing committee of the Pacific Christian 
Advocate shall consist of five members of the Oregon 
Conference, to be chosen annually by said confer- 
ence. 

" The publishing committee of the California Chris- 
tian Advocate shall consist of five members of the 
California Conference, to be chosen annually by said 
conference. 

"11. In case of vacancy by death, resignation, or 
otherwise, in either of the establishments named in the 
above sections, the publishing committee having super- 
vision of the same shall have authority, with the con- 
currence of either of the general superintendents, to 
provide for such vacancy until the next General Con- 
ference." 



SECTION IX. 

Local Preachers to have an Allowance in given 
Cases. 

For the provisions on this subject prior to 1784, see 
pp. 17, 20. For the rule in 1784, see under Question 
71, p. 65. The subsequent regulations have been as 
follows : — 

1787. It was provided, — " Let them be paid for 
their time in proportion to the salary of the travelling 
preachers." 

1796. The following provisions on the subject 
are found in Section 21, " Of the Local Preachers." 

" Quest. 2. Shall any regulations be made in respect 
to allowing a recompense to local preachers for their 
work in given cases ? 

" Ans. 1. Whenever a local preacher fills the place 
of a travelling preacher, he shall be paid for his trouble 
a sum proportionable to the salary of a travelling 
preacher ; which sum shall be paid by the circuit at 
the next quarterly meeting, if the travelling preacher 



Sec. 10.J Of Slavery. 327 

whose place he filled up was either sick or neces- 
sarily absent ; or, in other cases, out of the salary of 
the travelling preacher himself. 

"2. If a local preacher be distressed in his temporal 
circumstances, on account of his service in the circuit, 
he may apply to the quarterly meeting, who may give 
him what relief they judge proper, after the salaries of 
the travelling preachers and of their wives, and all other 
regular allowances to the travelling preachers be dis- 
charged." 

1 800. The word " trouble" changed to " time." 

1 804. This subject was transferred to its present 
place. 

1816. The words "by the approbation of the 
presiding elder" inserted after " travelling preacher," 
where the term first occurs, (1796.) 

section x. 
Of Slavery* 

For the provisions on this subject prior to 1784, see 
pp. 14, 15, 19, 21, 22. For the rules adopted at the 
Christmas Conference, see pp. 43, 44. Not more than 
six months had elapsed after the adoption of these last 
rules before it was thought necessary to suspend them 
Accordingly, in the Annual Minutes for 1785 the fol- 
lowing notice was inserted : — 

" It is recommended to all our brethren to suspend 

* The Methodists in America have from the first taken an active 
part in promoting the welfare of the coloured people. See pp. 16, > 

42, 43. In the Annual Minutes for 1787 we find the following : — y 

" Quest. 17. What directions shall we give for the promotion of 
the spiritual welfare of the coloured people ? 

"We conjure all our ministers and preachers, by the love of God, 
and the salvation of souls, and do require them, by all the authority 
that is invested in us, to leave nothing undone for the spiritual benefit .... 
and salvation of them, within their respective circuits or districts ; and 
for this purpose to embrace every opportunity of inquiring into the 
state of their souls, and to unite in society those who appear to have 
a real desire of fleeing from the wrath to come ; to meet such in 
class, and to exercise the whole Methodist discipline among them. 



328 Of Slavery. [Part 2, 

the execution of the minute on slavery till the delibera- 
tions of a future conference ; and that an equal space 
of time be allowed all our members for consideration, 
when the minute shall be put in force. 

" N. B. We do hold in the deepest abhorrence the 
practice of slavery ; and shall not cease to seek its 
destruction by all wise and prudent means." 

This note does not seem to refer to Question 43, 
(1784,) as it, with the same answer, was retained in 
the Discipline of 1786. From this till 1796 no men- 
tion, it would seem, was made of the subject except in 
the General Rules. (See p. 181.) 

1T@©. The following section was introduced on 
the subject : — 

" Quest. What regulations shall be made for the 
extirpation of the crying evil of African slavery ? 

" Am. 1. We declare, that we are more than ever 
convinced of the great evil of the African slavery which 
still exists in these United States, and do most ear- 
nestly recommend to the yearly conferences, quarterly 
meetings, and to those who have the oversight of dis- 
tricts and circuits, to be exceedingly cautious what 
persons they admit to official stations in our church ; 
and in the case of future admission to official stations, 
to require such security of those who hold slaves, for 
the emancipation of them, immediately or gradually, 
as the laws of the states respectively, and the circum- 
stances of the case will admit ; and we do fully autho- 
rize all the yearly conferences to make whatever regu- 
lations they judge proper, in the present case, respecting 
the admission of persons to official stations in our 
church. 

if 2. No slaveholder shall be received into society 
till the preacher who has the oversight of the circuit 
has spoken to him freely and faithfully on the subject 
of slavery. 

" 3. Every member of the society who sells a slave 
shall immediately, after full proof, be excluded the 
society. And if any member of our society purchase 



Sec. 10.] Of Slavery. 329 

a slave, the ensuing quarterly meeting shall determine 
on the number of years in which the slave so purchased 
would work out the price of his purchase. And the 
person so purchasing shall, immediately after such 
determination, execute a legal instrument for the 
manumission of such slave, at the expiration of the 
term determined, by the quarterly meeting. And in 
default of his executing such instrument of manumis- 
sion, or on his refusal to submit his case to the judg- 
ment of the quarterly meeting, such member shall be 
excluded the society. Provided, also, that in the case 
of a female slave, it shall be inserted in the aforesaid 
instrument of manumission, that all her children who 
shall be born during the years of her servitude, shall 
be free at the following times, namely : every female 
child at the age of twenty-one, and every male child 
at the age of twenty-five. Nevertheless, if the member 
of our society, executing the said instrument of manu- 
mission, judge it proper, he may fix the times of manu- 
mission of the children of the female slaves before 
mentioned, at an earlier age than that which is pre- 
scribed above. 

" 4. The preachers and other members of our so- 
ciety are requested to consider the subject of negro 
slavery with deep attention till the ensuing General 
Conference : and that they impart to the General Con- 
ference, through the medium of the yearly conferences, 
or otherwise, any important thoughts upon the subject, 
that the conference may have full light, in order to 
take further steps toward the eradicating this enormous 
evil from that part of the church of God to which they 
are united."* 

1800. The following new paragraphs were in- 
serted : — 

" 2. When any travelling preacher becomes an 
owner of a slave or slaves, by any means, he shall 



* It may be worthy of remark that this is almost the only section 
upon which the bishops make no notes. 



330 Of Slavery. [Part 2. 

forfeit his ministerial character in our church, unless 
he execute, if it be practicable, a legal emancipation 
of such slaves, conformably to the laws of the state in 
which he lives." 

" 6. The annual conferences are directed to draw 
up addresses for the gradual emancipation of the slaves, 
to the legislatures of those states in which no general 
laws have been passed for that purpose. These ad- 
dresses shall urge, in the most respectful, but pointed 
manner, the necessity of a law for the gradual emanci- 
pation of the slaves ; proper committees shall be ap- 
pointed, by the annual conferences, out of the most 
respectable of our friends, for the conducting of the 
business ; and the presiding elders, elders, deacons, 
and travelling preachers, shall procure as many proper 
signatures as possible to the addresses, and give all the 
assistance in their power in every respect to aid the 
committees, and to further this blessed undertaking 
Let this be continued from year to year, till the desired 
end be accomplished." 

1 804. The following alterations were made : — 

The question reads, — "What shall be done for the 
extirpation of the evil of slavery ?" 

In paragraph 1 (1796) instead of "more than ever 
convinced," we have, " as much as ever convinced," 
and instead of " the African slavery which still exists 
in these United States," we have " slavery." 

In paragraph 4, (3 of 1796,) respecting the 
selling of a slave, before the words " shall imme- 
diately," the following clause is inserted: — "except 
at the request of the slave, in cases of mercy and 
humanity, agreeably to the judgment of a committee 
of the male members of the society, appointed by the 
preacher who has the charge of the circuit." 

The following new proviso was inserted in this 
paragraph : — " Provided also, that if a member of 
our society shall buy a slave with a certificate of 
future emancipation, the terms of emancipation shall, 
notwithstanding, be subject to the decision of the 



Sec. 10.] Of Slavery. 331 

quarterly meeting conference." All after " neverthe- 
less" was struck out, and the following substituted : — 
" The members of our societies in the states of North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, 
shall be exempted from the operation of the above 
rules." The paragraphs about considering the subject 
of slavery and petitions to legislatures, (namely, No. 
4 of 1796, and No. 6 of 1800,) were struck out, 
and the following added : — 

"5. Let our preachers, from time to time, as occa- 
sion serves, admonish and exhort all slaves to render 
due respect and obedience to the commands and inte- 
rests of their respective masters." 

1808. All that related to slaveholding among 
private members (see 2 and 3 of 1796) struck out, and 
the following substituted : — 

" 3. The General Conference authorizes each annual 
conference to form their own regulations relative to 
buying and selling slaves." 

Paragraph 5 of 1804 was also struck out. 

18 15. Paragraph 3 of 1808 was altered so as 
to read, — 

" 3. Whereas the laws of some of the states do not 
admit of emancipating of slaves, without a special act 
of the legislature ; the General Conference authorizes 
each annual conference to form their own regulations 
relative to buying and selling slaves." 

1816. Paragraph 1 (see 1796) was altered so as 
to read, — 

" 1 . We declare that we are as much as ever con- 
vinced of the great evil of slavery : therefore no slave- 
holder shall be eligible to any official station in our 
church hereafter, where the laws of the state in which 
he lives will admit of emancipation, and permit the 
liberated slave to enjoy freedom." 

1830. Paragraph 3, (see 1812,) leaving it to 
the annual conferences " to form their own regulations 
about buying and selling slaves," was struck out. 

1 834. The following paragraphs added : — 



332 Of Slavery. [Part 2. 

" 3. All our preachers shall prudently enforce upon 
our members the necessity of teaching their slaves to 
read the word of God ; and to allow them time to 
attend upon the public worship of God on our regular 
days of divine service. 

" 4. Our coloured preachers and official members 
shall have all the privileges which are usual to others 
in the district and quarterly conferences, where the 
usages of the country do not forbid it. And the pre- 
siding elder may hold for them a separate district con- 
ference, where the number of coloured local preachers 
will justify it.* 

" 5. The annual conferences may employ coloured 
preachers to travel and preach where their services 
are judged necessary ; provided that no one shall be so 
employed without having been recommended according 
to' the Form of Discipline." 

1848. The only alterations in this chapter are 
the substitution of "the bishops" for the annual con- 
ferences. It now reads : — 

" 5. The bishops may employ coloured preachers," 
&c, and, instead of being recommended according to 
the Form of Discipline, they are now be " recom- 
mended by a quarterly conference." 

1 856. That which is embraced in 4 and 5 of this 
chapter is amended and included in a separate chapter, 
(chap, viii of Part I,) and entitled : — " Of the Rights 
and Privileges of our Coloured Members." 

"1. Our coloured preachers and official members 
shall have all the privileges which are usual to others 
in quarterly conferences, where the usages of the 
country do not forbid it. And the presiding elder may 
hold for them a separate quarterly conference, when in 
his judgment it shall be expedient. 

" 2. The bishop or presiding elder may employ 
coloured preachers to travel and preach, when their 
services are judged necessary. Provided, that no one 

° These provisions respecting district conferences have been retained 
ever since, although district conferences were abolished in 1836. 



Sec. 10.] Of Slavery. 333 

shall be so employed without having been recom- 
mended by a quarterly conference. 

" 3. The bishops may call a conference once in 
each year of our coloured local preachers, within the 
bounds of any one or more of our districts, for the 
purpose of conferring with them with respect to the 
wants of the work among our coloured people, and the 
best means to be employed in promoting its prosperity; 
at which conference, the presiding elder within whose 
district, and under whose care, the coloured churches 
and congregations are, shall be present. Provided, 
that the holding of said conference or conferences shall 
be recommended by an annual conference, and the 
bishops, upon due inquiry, shall deem it practicable 
and expedient.'' 

22 



APPENDIX. 



EXTRACTS FROM THE NOTES TO THE DISCIPLINE, BY 
DR. COKE AND BISHOP ASBURY. 



The fact has already been noticed, that Dr. Coke and Bishop 
Asbury appended explanatory notes to the Discipline of 1796. 
These consisted partly of Scripture proofs of the doctrines and 
rules of the church, and partly of expositions of the Discipline. 
The latter, constituting about two-thirds of the whole, are inserted 
in this Appendix, under their respective heads. The bishops 
themselves disclaimed having any authority " to make laws or 
regulations," much less can their notes be regarded in that light, 
now that the Discipline has been considerably modified. Bu x 
they are still interesting and important, as containing the views 
of the first bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church respecting 
its discipline at that time, and also, as having been prepared at the 
request of the General Conference of 1796, and having received 
the implied sanction of the General Conference of 1800, which 
directed that they should be printed in such a manner that they 
could be conveniently bound up with the Form of Discipline. 



" Of the Origin of the Methodist Episcopal Church.'''' 

" It cannot be needful in this country to vindicate the right of 
every Christian society to possess, within itself, all the privileges 
necessary or expedient for the comfort, instruction, or good go- 
vernment of the members thereof. The two sacraments of 
baptism and the Lord's supper have been allowed to be essential to 
the formation of a Christian church, by every party and denomi- 
nation in every age and country of Christendom, with the excep- 
tion only of a single modern society : and ordination D}' the 
imposition of hands has been allowed to be highly expedient, and 
has been practised as universally as the former. And these two 
points as above described, might, if need were, be confirmed by 
the Scriptures, and by the unanimous testimony of all the primi- 
tive fathers of the church for the three first centuries ; and, in- 
deed, by all the able divines who have written on the subject in 
the different languages of the world down to the present times. 



336 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

" The only point which can be disputed by any sensible person, 
is the episcopal form which we have adopted ; and this can be con- 
tested by candid men, only from their want of acquaintance with 
the history of the church. The most bigoted devotees to reli- 
gious establishments (the clergy of the Church of Rome excepted) 
are now ashamed to support the doctrine of the apostolic, uninter- 
rupted succession of bishops. Dr. Hoadley, bishop of Winchester, 
who was, we believe, the greatest advocate for episcopacy whom 
the Protestant churches ever produced, has been so completely 
overcome by Dr. Calamy, in respect to the uninterrupted succes- 
sion, that the point has been entirely given up. Nor do we re- 
collect that any writer of the Protestant churches has since 
attempted to defend what all the learned world at present know 
to be utterly indefensible. 

" And yet nothing but an apostolic, uninterrupted succession, 
can possibly confine the right of episcopacy to any particular 
church. The idea, that the supreme magistrate, or legislature 
of a country, ought to be the head of the church in that nation, is 
a position, which, we think, no one here will presume to assert. 
It follows, therefore, indubitably, that every church has a right 
to choose, if it please, the episcopal plan. 

" The late Rev. John Wesley recommended the episcopal form 
to his societies in America ; and the General Conference, which 
is the chief synod of our church, unanimously accepted of it. Mr. 
Wesley did more. He first consecrated one for the office of a 
bishop, that our episcopacy might descend from himself. The 
General Conference unanimously accepted of the person so con- 
secrated, as well as of Francis Asbury, who had for many years 
before exercised every branch of the episcopal office, excepting 
that of ordination. Now, the idea of an apostolic succession be- 
ing exploded, it follows, that the Methodist Church has every 
thing which is Scriptural and essential to justify its episcopacy. Is 
the unanimous approbation of the chief synod of a church neces- 
sary 1 This it has had. Is the ready compliance of the members 
of the church with its decision, in this respect, necessary 1 This 
it has had, and continues to have. Is it highly expedient, that 
the fountain of the episcopacy should be respectable 1 This has 
been the case. The most respectable divine since the primitive 
ages, if not since the time of the apostles, was Mr. Wesley. His 
knowledge of the sciences was very extensive. He was a general 
scholar : and for any to call his learning in question, would be to 
call their own. On his death the literati of England bore testi- 
mony to his great character. And where has been the individual 
so useful in the spread of religion 1 But in this we can appeal 
only to the lovers of vital godliness. By his long and incessant 
labours he raised a multitude of societies, who looked up to him 
for direction ; and certainly his directions in things lawful, with 
the full approbation of the people, were sufficient to give authen 



Sec. 3.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 337 

ticity to what was accordingly done. He was peculiarly attached 
to the laws and customs of the church in the primitive times 
of Christianity. He knew, that the primitive churches univer- 
sally followed the episcopal plan : and indeed Bishop Hoadley has 
demonstrated that the episcopal plan was universal till the time 
of the Reformation. Mr. Wesley therefore preferred the episcopal 
form of church government ; and God has (glory be to his name !) 
wonderfully blessed it among us." 

" But in all we have observed on this subject, we by no means 
intend to speak disrespectfully of the Presbyterian Church, or of 
any other : we only desire to defend our own from the unjust 
calumnies of its opponents." 



" SECTION III. 

" Of the General and Yearly Conferences." 

" Our societies are scattered over a vast country, extending 
about fourteen hundred miles from north to south, and from five 
to eight hundred from east to west. We could not, therefore, in 
justice to the work of God, nor from the state of our finances, 
hold our General Conferences oftener than once in four years. 
If they were more frequent, the long absence of so many minis- 
ters from their respective circuits and districts would be an irre- 
parable loss to the societies and congregations. Nor do we think, 
that the nature of a religious constitution renders it necessary to 
revise more frequently the regulations by which it is governed. 
But there are various particulars, which do not come under the 
name of laws, which require more frequent assemblies or confer- 
ences for their consideration. The admission of preachers on 
trial and into full connection, the ordination of elders and deacons, 
the examination of the characters of the ministers and preachers, 
and the stationing of them all, as well as the management of the 
fund for the superannuated preachers, &c, are points of the first 
moment, and call for frequent meetings. On this account, the 
General Conference has appointed yearly conferences, divided 
in the best manner they were able ; to be composed, as far as 
possible, of at least one bishop — the president elder of each dis- 
trict within the control of those conferences, respectively — the 
elders, deacons, and the preachers in full connection. These men, 
who have been travelling the preceding year among all the soci- 
eties in those districts and circuits, respectively, can give the 
fullest, the completest information on all the subjects which 
come under the cognizance of the yearly conferences. 

" But it may be asked, Why are not delegates sent to these 
conferences from each of the circuits ? We answer, It would 
utterly destroy our itinerant plan. They would be concerned 
chiefly, if not only, for the interests of their own constituents. 



538 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

They could not be expected, from the nature of things, to make 
the necessary sacrifices, and to enter impartially into the good of 
the whole. They would necessarily endeavour to obtain the most 
able and lively preachers for their respective circuits, without 
entering, perhaps at all, into that enlarged, apostolic spirit, which 
would endeavour, whatever might be the sacrifice, to make all 
things tally. The difference of gifts in the ministers, and the 
opposing interests of the delegates, would produce conflicts of a 
pernicious tendency ; and, in many instances, improper means 
would be used for obtaining the desired point. Frequently the 
delegates, if unsuccessful in their application for their favourite 
preacher, would probably make him secret offers to settle among 
them ; and if unsuccessful in every point, and the preacher, ap- 
pointed for them and their constituents, was not agreeable to their 
wishes, they might grow indignant, and, through resentment, 
and by their unfavourable reports, on their return, might cause 
a separation from the general body. And those who imagine this 
to be a mere chimera, show, we think, but little knowledge of 
human nature : they do not consider how easily and powerfully 
the heated passions would plead in favour of a settled ministry — 
how easily disappointment and jealousy would present the purest 
and most disinterested conduct in the most unfavourable light : 
to say nothing of the labour and expense of such a plan. While, 
on the other hand, the present members who compose our con- 
ferences, who know not, when they meet, what may be their 
next sphere of action, and are willing to run anywhere on the 
errands of their Lord, are not nearly as much exposed to the 
temptations mentioned above.* 

" The following portions of the word of God are pointed in 
support of the itinerant plan for the propagation of the gospel ; 
which plan renders most of the regulations contained in this sec- 
tion essential to the existence of our united society : Matt, x, 
5-11, ' These twelve [apostles] Jesus sent forth, and command- 
ed them, saying, Go — to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 
And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire,' &c. 



" * We are very far from making these remarks out of any disre- 
spect to our located brethren. On the contrary, we are very conscious 
that many of them equal any of us, and perhaps much exceed us in 
grace and wisdom. We have made these observations only on ac- 
count of their located situation, well knowing that our people would 
on no occasion choose any for their delegates who were not wise and 
good men. But such is the nature of man, and perhaps such is the 
duty of man, that he will always prefer the people for whom he acts, 
and to whom he is responsible, before all others. We should, proba- 
bly, act in the same manner ourselves, if we were delegates for a 
single circuit or district." 



Sec. 3.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 339 

Matt, xxii, 8-10, 'Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is 
ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye, 
therefore, into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid 
to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highway s,' 
&c. Matt, xxviii, 19, ' Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations,'' be 
as extensively useful as possible. Mark vi, 7-12, ' And he calleth 
unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and 
two, — and commanded them that they should take nothing 
for their journey, save a staff only. — And he said unto them, 
In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide, till ye 
depart from that place. — And they went out, and preached that 
men should repent.' Luke x, 1-9, ' After these things, the Lord 
appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before 
his face into every city and place, whither he himself would 
come. — And into whatsoever house ye enter,' says our Lord to 
them, ' first say, Peace be to this house. — And into whatsoever 
city ye enter, and they receive you, — say unto them, The king- 
dom of God is come nigh unto you.' Luke xiv, 23, ' And the Lord 
said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and 
compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.' Acts 
viii, 4. 'They that were scattered abroad went everywhere 
preaching the word.' Acts viii, 40, 'Philip — preached in all the 
cities, till he came to Cesarea.' Acts xvi, 36, ' Paul said unto 
Barnabas, Let us go again and visit oar brethren in every city 
where we have preached the word of the Lord,' &c. 

" We have already shown, that Timothy and Titus were travel- 
ling bishops. In short, every candid person, who is thoroughly 
acquainted with the New Testament, must allow, that whatever 
excellences other plans may have, this is the primitive and apos- 
tolic plan. But we would by no means speak with disrespect of 
the faithful located ministers of any church. We doubt not, 
but, from the nature and circumstances of things, there must 
have been many located ministers in the primitive churches : and 
we must acknowledge, with gratitude to God, that the located 
brethren in our church are truly useful and of considerable con- 
sequence, in their respective stations. But, on the other hand, 
we are so conscious of the vast importance of the travelling plan, 
that we are determined, through the grace of God, to support it 
to the utmost of our power : nor will any plea which can possibly 
be urged, however plausible it may appear, or under whatever 
name proposed, induce us to make the least sacrifice in this re 
spect, or, by the introduction of any novelty, to run the least 
hazard of wounding that plan, which God has so wonderfully 
owned, and which is so perfectly consistent with the apostolic 
and primitive practice. 

" We will now humbly beg leave to drop a few hints (for laws 
or regulations we have no authority to make) as explanatory of 
those words in the introduction to this section, ' It is desired. 



340 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

that every person speak freely whatever is in his heart :' and we 
propose them the more readily, as they are extracted from the 
Minutes drawn up by our elder brethren, the members of the 
British Conference : — 

" 1. Be tender of the character of every brother ; but keep at 
the utmost distance from countenancing- sin. 

" 2. Say nothing in the conference but what is strictly neces- 
sary, and to the point. 

" 3. If accused by any one, remember recrimination is no 
acquittance ; therefore avoid it. 

" 4. Beware of impatience of contradiction ; be firm ; but be 
open to conviction. The cause is God's, and he needs not the 
hands of an Uzzah to support his ark. The being too tenacious 
of a point, because you brought it forward, may be only feeding 
self. Be quite easy, if a majority decide against you. 

" 5. Use no craft or guile to gain any point. Genuine simpli- 
city will always support itself. But there is no need always to 
say all you know or think. 

" 6. Beware of too much confidence in your own abilities ; and 
never despise an opponent. 

" 7. Avoid all lightness of spirit, even what would be innocent 
anywhere else. — Thou, God, seest me. 

" The appointment of the times for holding the yearly confer- 
ences must necessarily be invested in the bishops, otherwise 
they cannot possibly form their plans for travelling through the 
continent, so that they may be enabled to attend each of the 
conferences. But the right of fixing the places rests with the 
conferences. # * 

" We cannot omit noticing, before we conclude this section, 
the strict examination which the characters of the preachers pass 
through, in the yearly conferences. When that eminent saint 
of God, and great writer, John Fletcher, was once present, in 
the British Conference, at the examination of the characters, he 
seemed astonished, and expressed his surprise and approbation in 
very strong terms. The examination is equally strict in all the 
conferences throughout the connection. And we know of no 
church where the purity of the morals, the orthodoxy of the doc- 
trines, and the usefulness of the lives and labours of the minis- 
ters, (for all these are included in the examination,) are more 
strictly attended to than in ours. 

" In respect to the division of the continent, for the purpose 
of holding the yearly conferences, we may observe, that for several 
years the annual conferences were very small, consisting only of 
the preachers of a single district, or of two or three very small 
ones. This was attended with many inconveniences : — 1 . There 
were but few of the senior preachers, whose years and experience 
had matured their judgments, who could be present at any one 
conference. 2. The conferences wanted that dignity which every 



Sec. 4.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 341 

religious synod should possess, and which always accompanies a 
large assembly of gospel ministers. 3. The itinerant plan was 
exceedingly cramped, from the difficulty of removing preachers 
from one district to another. All these inconveniences will, we 
trust, be removed on the present plan ; and at the same time the 
conferences are so arranged, that all the members, respectively, 
may attend with little difficulty. 

" To all which may be added, that the active, zealous, unmar- 
ried preachers, may move on a larger scale, and preach the ever- 
blessed gospel far more extensively through the sixteen states. 
and other parts of the continent ; while the married preachers, 
whose circumstances require them, in many instances, to be 
more located than the single men, will have a considerable field 
of action opened to them ; and also the bishops will be able to 
attend the conferences with greater ease, and without injury to 
their health. 

" The regulation concerning those who are to attend the con- 
ferences is made, that our societies and congregations may -be 
supplied with preaching during the conferences. We would, 
therefore, wish to have a few of the travelling preachers among 
our dear flocks at those times. But as we desire to make the 
conferences as respectable and weighty as possible, w r e can spare 
none at those important seasons, except the preachers upon trial. 
They, also, will be absent from the yearly conferences only for 
one year, as they must be present on the second to be admitted 
into full connection." 



"SECTION IV. 

" Of the Election and Consecration of Bishops, and of their 
Duty." 

" In considering the present subject, we must observe, that no- 
thing has been introduced into Methodism by the present episco- 
pal form of government, which was not before fully exercised 
by Mr. Wesley. He presided in the conferences ; fixed the 
appointments of the preachers for their several circuits ; changed, 
received, or suspended preachers wherever he judged that 
necessity required it ; travelled through the European connection 
at large ; superintended the spiritual and temporal business : and 
consecrated two bishops, Thomas Coke and Alexander Mather, 
one before the present episcopal plan took place in America, and 
the other afterward, besides ordaining elders and deacons. But 
the authority of Mr. Wesley and that of the bishops in America 
differ in the following important points : — 

" 1. Mr. Wesley was the patron of all the Methodist pulpits in 
Great Britain and Ireland for life, the sole right of nomination 
being invested in him by all the deeds of settlement, which gave 



342 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

him exceeding great power. But the bishops in America possess 
no such power. The property of the preaching-houses is invested 
in the trustees ; and the right of nomination to the pulpits, in 
the General Conference — and in such as the General Conference 
shall, from time to time, appoint. This division of power in 
favour of the General Conference was absolutely necessary. 
Without it the itinerant plan could not exist for any long continu- 
ance. The trustees would probably, in many instances, from 
their located situation? insist upon having their favourite preachers 
stationed in their circuits, or endeavour to prevail on the preach- 
ers themselves to locate among them, or choose some other set- 
tled minister for their chapels. In other cases, the trustees of 
preaching-houses in different circuits would probably insist upon 
having the same popular or favourite preachers.* Here, then, 
lies the grand difference between Mr. Wesley's authority, in the 
present instance, and that of our American bishops. The former, 
as (under God) the father of the connection, was allowed to 
have the sole, legal, independent nomination of preachers to all 
the chapels : the latter are entirely dependent on the General 
Conference. 

" But why, may it be asked, does the General Conference lodge 
the power of stationing the preachers in the episcopacy ? We 
answer, On account of their entire confidence in it. If ever, 
through improper conduct, it loses that confidence in any consi- 
derable degree, the General Conference will, upon evidence given, 
in a proportionable degree, take from it this branch of its authority. 
But if ever it evidently betrays a* spirit of tyranny or partiality, 
and this can be proved before the General Conference, the 
whole will be taken from it : and we pray God, that in such case 
the power may be invested in other hands ! And alas ! who 
would envy any one the power 1 There is no situation in which 
a bishop can be placed, no branch of duty he can possibly 
exercise, so delicate, or which so exposes him to the jealousies 



"* Wemustrepeat nearly thesame observations concerning trustees, 
which we have m our notes on the last section, concerning the sending 
of delegates to our conferences. We have a great respect for our 
trustees. We consider them as men to whom the connection is 
greatly obliged. They fill up an important province in our church 
and have a claim to a high rank among us. Humanly speaking, the 
work could not be carried on without them to any extent in the cities 
and towns. Their responsibility for the debts of our buildings, and 
the disinterestedness which must necessarily influence them when they 
make themselves responsible, lay our societies under very great obli- 
gations. We both love and honour them. But still they are located 
men. They cannot be expected to act impartially for the whole. 
They will think it their duty, and perhaps it is their duty, to prefer the 
interests of their own congregations to any other. We should pro. 
bably act in the same manner in their situation." 



Sec. 4.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 343 

not only of false but of true brethren, as this. The removal of 
preachers from district to district, and from circuit to circuit, 
ver\ nearly concerns them, and touches their tenderest feelings : 
and it requires no small portion of grace for a preacher to be 
perfectly contented with his appointment, when he is stationed 
in a circuit where the societies are small, the rides long, and the 
fare coarse. Any one, therefore, may easily see, from the na- 
ture of man, that though the bishop has to deal with some of the 
best of men, he will sometimes raise himself opposers, who, by 
rather overrating their own abilities, may judge him to be par- 
tial in respect to their appointments: and these circumstances 
would weigh down his mind, to such a degree, as those who are 
not well acquainted with the difficulties which necessarily 
accompany public and important stations among mankind, can 
hardly conceive. , 

" May we not add a few observations concerning the high ex- 
pediency, if not necessity, of the present plan. How could an 
itinerant ministry be preserved through this extensive continent, 
if the yearly conferences were to station the preachers 1 They 
would, of course, be taken up with the sole consideration of the 
spiritual and temporal interests of that part of the connection, 
the direction of which was intrusted to them. The necessary 
consequence of this mode of proceeding would probably, in less 
than an age, be the division of the body and the independence of 
each yearly conference. The conferences would be more and 
more estranged from each other for want of a mutual exchange of 
preachers ; and that grand spring, the union of the body at large, 
by which, under divine grace, the work is more and more ex- 
tended through this vast country, would be gradually weakened, till 
at last it might be entirely destroyed. The connection would no 
more be enabled to send missionaries to the western states and 
territories, in proportion to their rapid population. The grand 
circulation of ministers would be at an end, and a mortal stab 
given to the itinerant plan. The surplus of preachers in one 
conference could not be drawn out to supply the deficiencies of 
others, through declensions, locations, deaths, &c, and the revi- 
vals in one part of the continent could not be rendered beneficial 
to the others. Our grand plan, in all its parts, leads to an 
itinerant ministry. Our bishops are travelling bishops. All the 
different orders which compose our conferences are employed in 
the travelling line ; and our local preachers are, in some degree, 
travelling preachers. Every thing is kept moving as far as 
possible ; and we will be bold to say, that, next to the grace of 
God, there is nothing tike this for keeping the whole body alive 
from the centre to the circumference, and for the continual ex- 
tension of that circumference on every hand. And we verily 
believe, that if our episcopacy should, at any time, through ty- 
rannical or immoral conduct, come under the severe censure of 
• 



344 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

the General Conference, the members thereof would see it high- 
ly for the glory of God to preserve the present form, and only to 
change the men. 

" 2. Mr. Wesley, as the venerable founder (under God) of the 
whole Methodist society, governed without any responsibility 
whatever ; and the universal respect and veneration of both the 
preachers and people for him made them cheerfully submit to 
this : nor was there ever, perhaps, a mere human being who 
used so much power better, or with a purer eye to the Redeem- 
er's glory, than that blessed man of God. But the American 
bishop's are as responsible as any of the preachers. They are 
'perfectly subject to the General Conference They are indeed 
conscious that the conference would neither degrade nor censure 
them, unless they deserved it. They have, on the one hand, the 
fullest confidence in their brethren ; and, on the other, esteem the 
confidence which their brethren place in them, as the highest 
earthly honour they can receive. 

" But this is not all. They are subject to be tried by seven 
elders and two deacons, as prescribed above, for any immorality, or 
supposed immorality ; and may be suspended by two-thirds of 
these, not only from all public offices, but even from being 
private members of the society, till the ensuing General Confer- 
ence. This mode subjects the bishops to a trial before a court 
of judicature, considerably inferior to that of a yearly conference. 
For there is not one of the yearly conferences which will not, 
probably, be attended by more presiding elders, elders and deacons, 
than the conference which is authorized to try a bishop, the 
yearly conferences consisting of from thirty to sixty members. 
And we can, without scruple, assert, that there are no bishops of 
any other episcopal church upon earth who are subject to so strict 
a trial as the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
America. We trust, they will never need to be influenced by 
motives drawn from the fear of temporal or ecclesiastical punish- 
ments, in order to keep yrom vice : but if they do, may the rod 
which hangs over them have its due effect : or may they be ex- 
pelled the church, as ' salt which hath lost its savour, and is 
thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and trodden under 
foot of men.' 

" 3. Mr. Wesley had the entire management of all the confer- 
ence funds and the produce of the books. It is true, he expend- 
ed all upon the work of God, and for charitable purposes ; and 
rather than appropriate the least of it to his own use, refused, 
even when he was about seventy years of age, to travel in a car- 
riage, till his friends in London and Bristol entered into a private 
subscription for the extraordinary expense. That great man of 
God might have heaped up thousands upon thousands, if he had 
been so inclined ; and yet he died worth nothing but a little pocket 
money, 'he horses and the carriage in which he travelled, and 

• 



Sec. 4.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 345 

the clothes he wore. But our American bishops have no proba- 
bility of being rich. For not a cent of the public money is at 
their disposal : the conferences have the entire direction of the 
whole. Their salary is sixty-four dollars a year ; and their 
travelling expenses are also defrayed. And with this salary they 
are to travel about six thousand miles a year, ' in much patience,' 
and sometimes ' in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in la- 
bours, in watchings, in fastings,' through ' honour and dishonour, 
evil report and good report : as deceivers, and yet true ; as un- 
known, and yet well known ; as dying, and, behold,' they ' live ; 
as chastened, and not killed ; as sorrowful,, yet alway rejoicing ; 
as poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, and yet 
possessing all things ;' and, we trust, they can each of them 
through grace say, in their small measure, with the great 
apostle, that ' they are determined not to know any thing, save 
Jesus Christ, and him crucified ; yea, doubtless, and count all 
things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ 
Jesus their Lord : for whom they have suffered the loss of all 
things, and do count them but dung that they may win Christ.' 

" We have drawn this comparison between our venerable father 
and the American bishops, to show to the world that they possess 
not, and, we may add, they aim not to possess that power which 
he exercised and had a right to exercise, as the father of 
the connection ; that, on the contrary, they are perfectly de- 
pendent ; that their power, their usefulness, themselves, are en- 
tirely at the mercy of the General Conference, and, on the 
charge of immorality, at the mercy of two-thirds of the little con- 
ference of nine. 

" To these observations we may add, 1. That a branch of the 
episcopal office, which, in every episcopal church upon earth, 
since the first introduction of Christianity, has been considered as 
essential to it, namely, the poiuer of ordination, is singularly 
limited in our bishops. For they not only have no power to or- 
dain a person for the episcopal office till he be first elected by the 
General Conference, but they possess no authority to ordain an 
elder or a travelling deacon till he be first elected by a yearly 
conference ; or a local deacon, till he obtain a testimonial, signi- 
fying the approbation of the society to which he belongs, coun- 
tersigned by the general stewards of the circuit, three elders, 
three deacons, and three travelling preachers. They are, there- 
fore, not under the temptation of ordaining through interest, affec- 
tion, or any other improper motive ; because it is not in their 
power so to do. They have, indeed, authority to suspend the 
ordination of an elected person, because they are answerable to 
God for the abuse of their office, and the command of the apostle, 
' Lay hands suddenly on no man,' is absolute : and we trust, 
where conscience was really concerned, and they had sufficient 
reason to exercise their power of suspension, they would do it 



346 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

even to the loss of the esteem of their brethren, which is more 
dear to them than life ; yea, even to the loss of their usefulness 
in the church, which is more precious to them than all things 
here below. But every one must be immediately sensible, how 
cautious they will necessarily be, as men of wisdom, in the ex- 
ercise of this suspending power. For unless they had such 
weighty reasons for the exercise of it, as would give some de- 
gree of satisfaction to the conference which had made the elec- 
tion, they would throw themselves into difficulties, out of which 
they would not be able to extricate themselves, but by the meek- 
est and wisest conduct, and by reparation to the injured person. 

" 2. The bishops are obliged to travel till the General Confer- 
ence pronounces them worn out or superannuated : for that cer- 
tainly is the meaning of the answer to the sixth question of this 
section. What a restriction 1 Where is the like in any other epis- 
copal church ? It would be a disgrace to our episcopacy to have 
bishops settled on their plantations here and there, evidencing to 
all the world, that instead of breathing the spirit of their office, 
they could, without remorse, lay down their crown, and bury the 
most important talents God has given to men ! We would 
rather choose that our episcopacy should be blotted out from the 
face of the earth, than be spotted with such disgraceful conduct ! 
All the episcopal churches in the world are conscious of the 
dignity of the episcopal office. The greatest part of them endea- 
vour to preserve this dignity by large salaries, splendid dresses, 
and other appendages of pomp and splendour. But if an episco- 
pacy has neither the dignity which arises from these worldly trap- 
pings, nor that infinitely superior dignity which is the attendant 
of labour, of suffering and enduring hardship for the cause of 
Christ, and of a venerable old age, the concluding scene of a 
life devoted to the service of God, it instantly becomes the 
disgrace of a church and the just ridicule of the world ! 

" Some may think, that the mode of travelling which the 
bishops are obliged to pursue, is attended with little difficulty, 
and much pleasure. Much pleasure they certainly do experience, 
because they know that they move in the will of God, and that 
the Lord is pleased to own their feeble labours. But if to travel 
through the heat and the cold, the rain and the snow, the swamps 
and the rivers, over the mountains and through the wilderness, 
lying for nights together on the bare ground and in log-houses, 
open to the wind on every side, fulfilling their appointments, as 
far as possible, whatever be the hinderance, — if these be little dif- 
ficulties, then our bishops have but little to endure. 

" We have already quoted so many texts of Scripture in de- 
fence of episcopacy and the itinerant plan, that we need only 
refer our reader to the notes on the first and third sections. The 
whole tenor of St. Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus clearly 
evidences, that they were invested, on the whole, with abundantly 



Sec. 5.] By Bishops Coke and Ashury. 347 

more power than our bishops ; nor does it appear that they were 
responsible to any but God and the apostle. The texts quoted in 
the notes on the third section, in defence of the itinerant plan, we 
would particularly recommend to the reader's attention ; as we 
must insist upon it, that the general itinerancy would not proba- 
bly exist for any length of time on this extensive continent, if the 
bishops were not invested with that authority which they now 
possess. They alone travel through the whole connection, and 
therefore have such a view of the whole, as no yearly conference 
can possibly have. 

" One bishop, with the elders present, may consecrate a bishop 
who has been previously elected by the General Conference. 
This is agreeable to the Scriptures. We read, 2 Tim. i, 6, 'I 
put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which 
is in thee, by the putting on of my hands :' here we have the 
imposition of the hands of the apostle. Again, we read, 1 Tim. 
iv, 14, ' Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given 
thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presby- 
tery :' here we have the laying on of the hands. of the elders. 
And by comparing both passages, it is evident that the imposition 
of hands was, both in respect to the apostle and the elders, for 
the same gift. Nor is the idea, that three bishops are necessary 
to consecrate a bishop, grounded on any authority whatever, 
drawn from the Scriptures, or the practice of the apostolic age. 

" The authority given to, or rather declared to exist m, the 
General Conference, that in case there shall be no bishop re- 
maining in the church, they shall elect a bishop, and authorize 
the elders to consecrate him, will not admit of an objection, ex- 
cept on the supposition that the fable of an uninterrupted apostolic 
succession be allowed to be true. St. Jerome, who was as 
strong an advocate for episcopacy as perhaps any in the primi- 
tive church, informs us, that in the church of Alexandria, (which 
was, in ancient times, one of the most respectable of the church- 
es,) the college of presbyters not only elected a bishop on the 
decease of the former, but consecrated him by the imposition of 
their own hands solely, from the time of St. Mark, their first 
bishop, to the time of Dionysius, which was a space of about two 
hundred years : and the college of presbyters in ancient times 
answered to our General Conference." 

"section v. 

" Of the Presiding Elders, and of their Duty" 

After citing sundry scriptures in favour of having " presiding, 
superintending, or ruling elders," the bishops proceed, — 

" On the principles or data above mentioned, all the episcopal 
churches in the world have, in some measure, formed their 



348 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

church government. And we believe we can venture to assert, 
that there never has been an episcopal church of any great ex- 
tent which has not had ruling or presiding elders, either ex- 
pressly by name, as in the apostolic churches, or otherwise in 
effect. On this account it is, that all the modern episcopal 
churches have had their presiding or ruling elders under the 
names of grand vicars, archdeacons, rural deans, &c. The 
Moravians have presiding elders, who are invested with very 
considerable authority, though we believe they are simply termed 
elders. And we beg leave to repeat, that we are confident, we 
could, if need were, show that all the episcopal churches, ancient 
and modern, of any great extent, have had an order or set of 
ministers corresponding,, more or less, to our presiding or ruling 
elders, all of whom were, more or less, invested with the super- 
intendence of other ministers. 

" Mr. Wesley informs us in his Works, that the whole plan 
of Methodism was introduced, step by step, by the interference 
and openings of divine Providence. This was the case in the 
present instance. When Mr. Wesley drew up a plan of govern- 
ment for our church in America, he desired that no more elders 
should be ordained in the first instance than were absolutely 
necessary, and that the work on the continent should be divided 
between them, in respect to the duties of their office. The 
General Conference accordingly elected twelve elders for the 
above purposes. Bishop Asbury and the district conferences 
afterward found that this order of men was so necessary that 
they agreed to enlarge the number, and give them the name by 
which they are at present called,, and which is perfectly Scrip- 
tural, though not the word used in our translation : and this pro- 
ceeding afterward received the approbation of Mr. Wesley. 

" In 1792 the General Conference, equally conscious of the 
necessity of having such an office among us, not only confirmed 
every thing that Bishop Asbury and the district conferences had 
done, but also drew up or agreed to the present section for the 
explanation of the nature and duties of the office. The confer- 
ence clearly saw that the bishops wanted assistants ; that it was 
impossible for one or two bishops so to superintend the vast 
work on this continent as to keep every thing in order in the 
intervals of the conference, without other official men to act 
under them and assist them : and as these would be only the 
agents of the bishops in every respect, the authority of appoint- 
ing them, and of changing them, ought, from the nature of 
things, to be in the episcopacy. If the presiding or ruling elders 
were not men in whom the bishops could fully confide, or on the 
loss of confidence, could exchange for others, the utmost con- 
fusion would ensue. This also renders the authority invested 
in the bishops of fixing the extent of each district, highly expe- 
dient. They must be supposed to be the best judges of the 



Sec. 5.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 349 

abilities of the presiding elders whom they themselves choose : 
and it is a grand part of their duty to make the districts and the 
talents of the presiding elders who act for them, suit and agree 
with each other, as far as possible : for it cannot be expected, 
that a sufficient number of them can at any time be found, of 
equal talents, and, therefore, the extent of their field of action 
must be proportioned to their gifts. 

" From all that has been advanced, and from those other ideas 
which will present themselves to the reader's mind on this sub- 
ject, it will appear that the presiding elders must, of course, be 
appointed, directed, and changed by the episcopacy. And yet 
their power is so considerable that it would by no means be suf- 
ficient for them to be responsible to the bishops only for their 
conduct in their office. They are as responsible in this respect, 
and in every other, to the yearly conference to which they be- 
long, as any other preacher ; and may be censured, suspended, 
or expelled from the connection, if the conference see it proper : 
nor have the bishops any authority to overrule, suspend, or 
meliorate in any degree the censures, suspensions, or expulsions 
of the conference. 

" Many and great are the advantages arising from this insti- 
tution. 1. It is a great help and blessing to the quarterly meet- 
ings respectively, through the connection, to have a man at 
their head, who is experienced not only in the ways of God, but 
in men and manners, and in all things appertaining to the order 
of our church. Appeals may be brought before the quarterly 
meeting from the judgment of the preacher who has the over- 
sight of the circuit, who certainly would not be, in such cases, 
so proper to preside as the ruling elder. Nor would any local 
preacher, leader, or steward be a suitable president of the meet- 
ing, as his parent, his child, his brother, sister, or friend, might 
be more or less interested in the appeals which came before 
him : besides, his local situation would lead him almost unavoid- 
ably to prejudge the case, and, perhaps, to enter warmly into 
the interests of one or other of the parties, previously to the 
appeal. It is, therefore, indisputably evident, that the ruling 
elder is most likely to be impartial, and, consequently, the most 
proper person to preside. 

" 2. Another advantage of this office arises from the neces- 
sity of changing preachers from circuit to circuit in the intervals 
of the yearly conferences. Many of the preachers are young 
m years and gifts ; and this must always be the case, more or 
less, or a fresh supply of travelling preachers in proportion to 
the necessities of the work could not be procured. These 
young men, in general, are exceedingly zealous. Their grand 
forte is to awaken souls ; and in this view they are highly ne- 
cessary for the spreading of the gospel. But for some time 
their gifts cannot be expected to be various ; and, therefore, 
23 



350 Notes on trx Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

half a year at a time, or sometimes even a quarter, may be suf- 
ficient for them to labour in one circuit : to change them, there- 
fore, from circuit to circuit, in the intervals of the yearly con 
ferences, is highly necessary in many instances. Again, the 
preachers themselves, for family reasons, or on other accounts, 
may desire, and have reason to expect, a change But who 
can make it in the absence of the bishops, unless there be a pre- 
siding elder appointed for the district 1 A recent instance proves 
the justice of this remark. A large district was lately without 
a presiding elder for a year. Many of the preachers, sensible 
of the necessity of a change in the course of the year, met to- 
gether, and settled every preliminary for the purpose. Accord- 
ingly, when the time fixed upon for the change arrived, several 
of them came to their new appointments according to agreement, 
but, behold, the others had changed their minds, and the former 
were obliged to return to their old circuits, feeling not a little 
disgrace on account of their treatment. And this would be 
continually the case, and all would be confusion, if there were 
no persons invested with the powers of ruling elders, by what- 
ever name they might be called ; as it would be impossible for 
the bishops to be present everywhere, and enter into the details 
of all the circuits. 

"3. Who is able properly to supply the vacancies in circuits 
on* the deaths of preachers, or on their withdrawing from the 
travelling connection 1 Who can have a thorough knowledge 
of the state of the district, and of its resources for the filling up 
such vacancies, except the presiding elder who travels through 
the whole district 1 ? And shall circuits be often neglected foi 
months together, and the flocks, during those times, be, more or 
less, without shepherds, and many of them, perhaps, perish tor 
want of food, merely that one of the most Scriptural and useful 
offices among us may be abolished ] Shall we not rather sup- 
port it, notwithstanding every thing which may be subtilly urged 
by our enemies under the cry of tyranny, which is the common 
cry of restless spirits, even against the best governments, in 
order that they may throw every thing into confusion, and then 
ride in the whirlwind and direct the storm ? 

" 4. When a bishop visits a district, he ought to have one to 
accompany him, in whom he can fully confide ; one who can 
inform him of the whole work in a complete and comprehensive 
view ; and, therefore, one who has travelled through the whole, 
and, by being present at all the quarterly meetings, can give all 
the information concerning every circuit in particular, and the 
district in general, which the bishop can desire. Nor is the ad- 
vantage small that the bishops, when at the greatest distance, 
may receive from the presiding elders a full account of their 
respective districts, and may thereby be continually in possession 



Sec. 5.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 351 

of a more comprehensive knowledge of the whole work than they 
could possibly procure by any other means. 

" 5. The only branch of the presiding elder's office, the im- 
portance and usefulness of which is not so obvious to some per- 
sons, but which is, at the same time, perhaps the most expedient 
of all, is the suspending power, for the preservation of the purity 
of our ministry, and that our people may never be burdened with 
preachers of insufficient gifts. Here we must not forget that 
the presiding elder acts as agent to the bishops ; and that the 
bishops are, the greatest part of their time, at a vast distance 
from him : he must, therefore, exercise episcopal authority, (or- 
dination excepted,) or he cannot act as their agent. All power 
may be abused. The only way which can be devised to pre- 
vent the abuse of it, if we will have a good and effective govern- 
ment, is to make the executive governors completely responsible, 
and their responsibility within the reach of the aggrieved. i\.nd, 
in the present instance, not only the General Conference may 
expel the presiding elder — not only the episcopacy may sus- 
pend him from the exercise of his office — but the yearly confer- 
ence may also impeach him, try him, and expel him : and such 
a threefold guard must be allowed, by every candid mind, to be 
as full a check to the abuse of his power, a perhaps, human 
wisdom can devise. 

" But is it not strange that any of the people should complain 
either of this or of the episcopal office ? These offices in the 
church are peculiarly designed to meliorate the severity of 
Christian discipline, as far as they respect the people. In them 
the people have a refuge, an asylum to which they may fly upon 
all occasions. To them they may appeal, and before them they 
may lay all their complaints and grievances. The persons who 
bear these offices are their fathers in the gospel, ever open of 
access, ever ready to relieve them under every oppression. 
And we believe we can venture to assert, that the people have 
never had even a plausible pretence to complain of the authority 
either of the bishops or the presiding elders. 

" 6. We may add, as was just hinted above, that the bishops 
ought not to enter into small details. It is not their calling. 
To select the proper men who are to act as their agents — to 
preserve in order and in motion the wheels of the vast machine 
— to keep a constant and watchful eye upon the whole — and to 
think deeply for the general good — form their peculiar and im- 
portant avocation. All of which shows the necessity of the 
office now under consideration. 

" The objection brought by some that many of the most useful 
preachers are taken out of the circuits for this purpose, whose 
preaching talents are thereby lost to the connection, will by no 
means bear examination. Even if this was the case, the vast 



352 Notes on the Discipline, LCh. 1. 

advantage arising from a complete and effective superintendence 
of the work would, we believe, far over-balance this considera- 
tion. But the objection is destitute of weight. Their preaching 
abilities are, we believe, abundantly more useful. Though all 
the preachers of matured talents and experience cannot be em- 
ployed as presiding elders, yet those who are employed as such 
generally answer this character. They are qualified to build 
up believers on their most holy faith, and to remove scruples, 
and answer cases of conscience, more than the younger preachers 
in general. In many circuits some parts of the society might 
suffer much in respect to the divine life, for want of those gifts 
peculiarly necessary for them, were it not for this additional 
help ; while the junction of the talents of the presiding elder 
with those of the circuit preachers, will, in general, make the 
whole complete. And as the presiding elder is, or ought to be, 
always present at the quarterly meetings, he will have oppor- 
tunities of delivering his whole mind to a very considerable part 
of the people : nor is there any reasonable ground to fear that 
he will ever wear out his talents, if we consider the extent of a 
district, and the obligation the episcopacy is under to remove 
him, at furthest, on the expiration of four years. 

" To these observations we may add, that the calling of dis- 
trict conferences, on the immorality of travelling preachers, on 
their deaths, the necessity of removals, &c, would be attended 
with the most pernicious consequences to the circuits on this 
vast continent, where the districts are so large, and the absence 
of the preachers would be necessarily so long upon every such 
occasion. And we will venture to assert, that if any effective 
government ought to exist at all in the connection, during the 
intervals of the yearly and general conferences, there is no 
alternative between the authority of the bishops and their agents, 
the presiding elders, on the one hand, and the holding of district 
conferences on the other hand. 

" We will conclude our notes on this section with observing, 
that there is no ground to believe that the work of God has been 
injured, or the numbers of the society diminished, by the insti- 
tution of this order, but just the contrary. In the year 1784, 
when the presiding eldership did, in fact, though not in name, 
commence, there were about fourteen thousand in society on 
this continent ; and now the numbers amount to upward of fifty- 
six thousand : so that the society is, at present, four times as 
large as it was twelve or thirteen years ago. We do not be- 
lieve that the office now under consideration was the principal 
cause of this great revival, but the Spirit and grace of God, 
and the consequent zeal of the preachers in general. Yet 
we have no doubt but the full organization of our body, and 
giving to the whole a complete and effective executive govern- 
ment, of which the presiding eldership makes a very capital 



Sec. 7.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 353 

branch, has, under God, been a grand means of preserving the 
peace and union of our connection, and the purity of our minis- 
try, and, therefore, in its consequences, has been a chief instru- 
ment, under the grace of God, of this great revival." 

" SECTION VI. 

u Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling Elders, and oj 
their Duty." 

" We need not enlarge upon the necessity of an office, which 
every organized Christian church in the world, in all ages, has 
adopted. We would only remark, that the restriction respect- 
ing the elders withdrawing themselves from the travelling line, 
without the consent of the yearly conference, shows the con- 
firmed regard our church has for the itinerant plan, and its de- 
termination to support it by every method in its power, consistent 
with justice and truth. And no elder has a right to complain, 
as he cannot but j be previously acquainted with the conditions on 
which he accepts of ordination." 

" SECTION VII. 

*' Of the Election and Ordination of Travelling Deacons, and of 
their Duty.' 1 '' 

" As we find from the first-quoted text (Acts vi, 1-6,) that the 
deacons were set apart for their office by the imposition of hands, 
but not by the imposition of the hands of the elders, as in other 
cases ; so we endeavour to come as near to the Scripture mode 
as we can, by confining the ceremony of the imposition of 
hands to the episcopacy only, in the present instance, without 
daring to compare ourselves, as some of our enemies would most 
maliciously assert, to the holy apostles ; but simply, and in the 
fear of God, coming up to the written word as nearly as in our 
power. 

" This office serves as an excellent probation for that of an 
elder. No preacher can be eligible to the office of an elder till 
he has exercised the office of a deacon for two years, except 
in cne case of missions. For we would wish to show the utmost 
attention to the order of elders, and to have the fullest proof of 
the abilities, grace, and usefulness of those, who shall be, from 
time to time, proposed for so important an office as that of a 
presbyter in the church of God. And we judge, that the man 
who has proved himself a worthy member of our society, and 
a useful class-leader, exhorter, and local preacher, who has been 
approved of for two years as a travelling preacher on trial, and 
has faithfully served in the office of a travelling deacon for at least 
two years more — has offered such proofs of fidelity and piety, as 



354 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. I. 

must satisfy every reasonable mind. But as this continent is ex- 
ceedingly large, and will continually open to our conferences new 
missions for the spread of the gospel (perhaps for ages to come) 
we have, in the case of missions, given a discretionary power to 
the yearly conferences. We have thus been able, through the 
grace and providence of God, to constitute such a regular gra- 
dation in our ministry as, we trust, will contribute highly to its 
purity, to the dignity of the ministerial office, and to the advan- 
tage of our people. 

" We have here also made the same restriction for the preser- 
vation of our important itinerant plan, in respect to the deacons 
withdrawing themselves from the general work, without the 
consent of the yearly conference, which was made before in the 
case of the elders, and which has been spoken to in the notes on 
the former section." 



" SECTION VIII. ' 

" Of the Method of receiving Preachers, and of their Duty." 

" To preach almost every day, and to meet societies or classes 
several times in the week, and to visit the sick, not only in the 
towns, but as far as practicable on the plantations, is a work which 
requires no small degree of diligence and zeal : and no person is 
fit to be a travelling preacher who cannot fill up these duties in- 
cessantly all the year round, except occasional indispositions 
incapacitate him for a season ; or some reasonable and urgent 
necessity call him away for a little time." 

" Punctuality is of vast importance in every circumstance 
of life. Without it, no confidence can exist : and the want of it 
is productive of innumerable evils to society. But how much 
stronger are these observations, when applied to our situation 1 
The itinerant plan, which we so much and so justly venerate, 
would be the most pernicious in the world, without punctuality. 
It would be almost sufficient to make mankind hate religion. 
The man who will disappoint a congregation through any world- 
ly motive is highly criminal, and answerable for all the evil 
which his negligence has caused — answerable for all the souls 
which through disgust do afterward despise or neglect the or- 
dinances of God. When an appointment is fixed, and cannot be 
revoked in time, it should be considered as an engagement made 
to God. ' Lord,' says the psalmist, ' who shall abide in thy 
tabernacle, and who shall dwell in thy holy hill? — He that 
sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.' See Psalm xv. 
And the word of a preacher of the gospel, indeed of every Chris- 
tian, should be the same as his oath, or he is not even an honest 
man. Alas ! the good which the best of us do is but little, and, 
therefore, should not suffer any subtraction. But when the itine- 



Sec. 8.) By Bishops Coke and Ashury. 355 

rani preacher frequently proves himself destitute of punctuality, 
his life and labours become more hurtful than profitable. He not 
only prevents a faithful man from filling up the office which he 
himself abuses, but gives continual offence, and imperceptibly 
drives numbers from the ordinances of God, and thereby out of 
the way of salvation." 

" The command given by the apostle, Heb. xiii, 17, ' Obey 
them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves,' is as 
binding on ministers as on the people. Among us there is no 
exception. Our bishops are bound to obey and submit to the 
General Conference ; and the preachers are bound to obey and 
submit to the General Conference, and also to the yearly confer- 
ences, in every thing except the stationing of them for their re- 
spective districts and circuits ; and in this respect they are bound 
to obey and submit to the episcopacy. This is the order of our 
church : and as the New Testament is silent as to the constitu- 
tions of states, so is it, in a great measure, in respect to the 
constitutions of churches. It only requires obedience or submis- 
sion to the powers that are, without which no order could possi- 
bly exist. This does not, in any degree, prevent the due 
reformation of the constitutions of churches, any more than of 
those of states. We may add to these considerations the 
command of St. Peter, 1st Epis. v, 5, ' Ye younger, submit 
yourselves unto the elder.' 

" The due examination of candidates for the ministry is of the 
utmost importance. The questions proposed for this purpose, in 
the present section, may be drawn out and enlarged upon by the 
bishops, as they judge necessary ; and, if duly considered, will be 
found to contain in them the whole of Christian and ministerial 
experience and practice. In respect to doctrines, experience, and 
practice, the preachers will have passed already through various 
examinations, before they are received into the travelling con- 
nection. Let us take a view of the whole, remembering that 
our societies form our grand nurseries or universities for minis- 
ters of the gospel. 

"1. On application for admission into the society, they must be 
duly recommended to the preacher who has the oversight of the 
circuit, by one in whom he can place sufficient confidence, or 
must have met three or four times in a class, and must be truly 
awakened to a sense of their fallen condition. Then the preacher 
who has the oversight of the circuit gives them notes of admis- 
sion, and they remain on trial for six months. 2. When the six 
months are expired, they receive tickets, if recommended by 
their leader, and become full members of the society. And to 
prevent any future complaint on the ground of ignorance, the 
rules of the society must be read to them the first time they meet 
in class. 3. Out of these are chosen, from time to time, the lead- 
ers of classes, who should not only be deeply experienced in di- 



356 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

vine things, but have a measure of the gift of preaching, so as to 
feed the flock of Christ under their care, in due season. 4. Out 
of these, when they discover in public prayer meetings an ex- 
traordinary gift of prayer and some gift for exhortation, are 
chosen the exhorters. 5. Out of the exhorters, who are em- 
ployed in the places of least consequence, or to fill up the place 
of a preacher, in cases of necessity, are chosen the local preach' 
ers. These are first to receive a license signed by the presiding 
elder, and by the quarterly meeting,* which is composed of the 
local preachers, stewards, and leaders of the circuit. Without 
the consent of the presiding elder, and of the majority of this 
meeting, which is the most proper and respectable representation 
of the circuit that perhaps can possibly be devised, no one can 
be admitted as a local preacher. And the license above men- 
tioned must be annually renewed, till the local preacher be ad- 
mitted into the deacon's office. 6. Out of the local preachers 
are chosen the travelling preachers, of whom those in full con- 
nection form the members of our conferences. These must be 
on trial for two years before they can be received into full con- 
nection with the conference, their characters being examined at 
each conference (whether they be present or absent) in respect 
to morals, grace, gifts, and fruit. Nor can they be received 
upon trial as travelling preachers, till they have obtained a re- 
commendation from the quarterly meetings of their respective 
circuits. The bishops indeed, and the presiding elders, have 
authority to call them to travel, in the intervals of the confer- 
ences, when they have received the above recommendation, 
otherwise the circuits would be frequently destitute of preachers. 
But their call to travel must afterward be confirmed by the 
yearly conference. 

" From all that has been observed, it must be clear to every 
candid reader, that it is not the yearly conference only, or the 
bishops or presiding elders only, in the intervals of the confer- 
ences, who choose the local or travelling preachers. On the 
contrary, they have no authority to choose at all, till the people, 
through their leaders, stewards, &c, recommend. And those 
who will not be satisfied with this whole process of probation, 
considered in all its parts, must be rigid indeed. But we bless 
God for the whole of this economy, and do attribute to it, under 
his grace and providence, the purity of our ministry. When we 
consider the importance of the gcspel ministry, this severe pro 
cess is by no means excessive." 



* See the twenty-first section of this chapter." 



Sec. 9.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 357 

" SECTION IX. 

" Of the Salaries of the Ministers and Preachers." 

" Those who read this section attentively will see the impos- 
sibility of our ministers becoming rich by the gospel, except in 
grace. And here there is no difference between bishops, elders, 
deacons, or preachers, except in their travelling expenses, and 
consequently in the greater labours of one than the other. The 
gifts they have to impart are not silver and gold, but, through the 
divine blessing on their labours, and the operations of the Holy 
Spirit accompanying their word, 'love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.' And we 
may add, that the impossibility of our enriching ourselves by out 
ministry, is another great preservation of its purity. The lovers 
of this world will not long continue travelling preachers. Indeed, 
we may add, that a great many of the preachers do not receive 
the whole of their annual pittance ; generally, we believe, through 
the poverty, but sometimes perhaps through the inattention of 
our friends. 

" The clause concerning the allowance for a preacher's wife 
may need some explanation. The wife is to have the same claim 
in respect to salary as the travelling preacher : so that if there 
be a married and a single preacher in the same circuit, and the 
money for the support of the ministry be not sufficient to make 
up all the salaries, the whole is to be divided into three parts, 
one part of which belongs to the wife." 

" SECTION X. 

*' Of the Duties of those who have the Charge of Circuits." 

" When we consider the duties of the office described in this 
section, we shall feel no difficulty in allowing that it is an office 
of no small importance. 

" 1. The person who holds it, is to watch over the other travel- 
ling preachers in his circuit, not with the eye of a severe judge, 
but with that of a tender elder brother. He should indeed be 
faithful to his colleagues, and tell them all their faults : but he has 
no power to correct them. He is to bear an equal share with 
them in the toils of a travelling preacher, besides having upon 
him the care of all the churches in his circuit. But if his col- 
leagues will not observe his reasonable directions, or behave gross- 
ly amiss, he must inform his presiding elder, whose duty it is, as 
soon as possible, to judge of and rectify every thing. He is also 
to use his influence with the people, that his fellow-labourers 
may stand in need of nothing for the simple convenience, or at 
least necessities of this transitory life. They want but little, 



358 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

and that little they ought to have. This also implies, that if his 
colleague be married, he should take care that neither he nor his 
family stand in need of any of the necessaries of life. For his 
performance of this duty, as well as all the rest, he is bounden to 
God, as well as to the church of which he is a member." 

" 2. He is to deliver tickets quarterly to each member of the 
society, with a portion of the word of God printed on them. This 
is of no small moment for the preservation of our discipline and 
the purity of our church. To admit frequently unawakened per- 
sons to our society meetings and love-feasts, would be to throw a 
damp on those profitable assemblies, and cramp, if not entirely 
destroy, that liberty of speech, which is always made a peculiar 
blessing to earnest believers and sincere seekers of salvation. 
Besides, this regulation affords the preacher who holds the office 
now under consideration an opportunity of speaking closely to 
every person under his care on the state of their souls." 

" 3. He is to watch over the stewards and leaders of his circuit. 
He should meet them weekly, when in the towns, and as often 
as may be in the country. He is to recommend to the stewards 
the poor of their societies, to lay before them, if necessary, the 
wants of his colleagues, and to stir them up to fidelity and ac- 
tivity in their office : but above all, he is to exhort the leaders, 
to instruct them in the best mode of addressing their classes, and 
to set before them the inestimable value of the precious souls 
respectively intrusted to their care." 

" 4. As he is the least likely to be influenced by the various cir- 
cumstances arising from neighbourhood, long acquaintance, af- 
fection, consanguinity, or any other motives distinct from official 
talents, he is to appoint the stewards. And as he is, or should, 
be the best judge of the gifts and experience of the members of 
society, he also is to select the men, from time to time, who are 
to fill up the weighty office of leader. And again, as he is the 
only person in the circuit who is responsible to the yearly con- 
ference for the decline of the work of God in his circuit, and the 
only one the conference can make responsible, he has the autho- 
rity invested in him of changing leaders, when they have lost the 
life of God, or are incapacitated for or negligent of their duty. 
But if he ever use this power in a capricious or tyrannical man- 
ner, the people may lay their grievances before the bishops or 
presiding elders, who have authority to suspend him for ill con- 
duct ; or, before the yearly conference, which may proceed even 
to his expulsion, if he grossly offend against that wisdom which 
is from above, ' and which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, 
and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without 
partiality, and without hypocrisy,'' James iii, 17. 

" 5. He is also to receive members upon trial, and into society, 
according to the Form of Discipline. If this authority were in- 
vested in the society, or any part of it, the great work of revival 



Sec. 10.] By Bishops Cuke and Asbury. 359 

would soon be at an end. A very remarkable proof of this was 
given several years ago by a society in Europe. Many of the 
leading members of that society were exceedingly importunate 
to have the whole government of their society invested in a 
meeting composed of the principal preacher, and a number of lay 
elders and lay deacons, as they termed them. At last, the preacher 
who had the oversight of the circuit was prevailed upon, through 
their incessant importunity, to comply with their request. He 
accordingly nominated all the leaders and stewards as lay elders 
and lay deacons, with the desired powers. But alas ! what was 
the consequence ? The great revival which was then in that 
society and congregation was soon extinguished. Poor sinners, 
newly awakened, were flocking into the church of God as doves 
to their windows. But now, the wisdom and prudence of the new 
court kept them at a distance, till they had given full proof of their 
repentance : ' If their convictions be sincere,' said they, ' they 
will not withdraw themselves from the preaching of the word on 
account of our caution ; they themselves will see the propriety 
of our conduct.' Thus, while the fervent preacher was one 
hour declaring the willingness of Christ immediately to receive 
the returning sinners, the wisdom of the lay elders and lay dea- 
cons would the next hour reject them even from being received 
upon trial, unless they had been before painted sepulchres, inward- 
ly full of dead men's bones and rottenness. The preacher who 
had the charge of the circuit nearly broke his heart, to see the 
precious souls which God had given him kept at a distance from 
him, and thrown back again upon the wide world by the prudent 
lay elders and deacons. However, at his earnest entreaty, he 
was removed into another circuit by the conference, under whose 
control he acted, to enjoy the blessings of the Methodist economy. 
The revival of the work of God was soon extinguished ; and the 
society, from being one of the most lively, became one of the 
most languid in Europe. 

" Glory be to God, all our societies throughout the world, now 
amounting to upward of one hundred and sixty thousand, have 
been raised, under grace, by our ministers and preachers. They, 
and they only, are their spiritual fathers under God ; and none 
others can feel for them as they do. It is true, that on great 
revivals, the spiritually halt, and blind, and lame, will press in 
crowds into the church of God ; and they are welcome to all 
that we can do for their invaluable souls, till they prove unfaith- 
ful to convincing or converting grace. x\.nd we will not throw 
back their souls on the wicked world, while groaning under the 
burden of sin, because many on the trial quench their convictions, 
or perhaps were hypocritical from the beginning. We would 
sooner go again into the highways and hedges, and form new socie- 
ties, as at first, than we would give up a privilege so essential 
to the ministerial office and to the revival of the work of God. 



360 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

" The master of the house [God] said to his servant, Go out 
quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither 
the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the 
servant said, ' Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet 
there is room.' He obeys his God without asking permission 
of any society, whether he should obey him or not. ' And the 
Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and 
hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled,' 
Luke xiv, 21-23. The servant answers not to his God, ' I will 
comply with thy command as far as my society, or my leaders 
and stewards, will permit me.' Again, the Lord says to Ezekiel, 
chap, xxxiv, 1-10, ' Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds 
of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord 
God unto the shepherds, Wo be to the shepherds of Israel — the 
diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that 
which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, 
neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, nei- 
ther have ye sought that which was lost, And they were scat- 
tered, because there is no shepherd : and they became meat to 
all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. Therefore, 
ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord : As I live, saith the 
Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock 
became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no 
shepherd, neither did my shepherd search for my flock — there- 
fore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord, Thus saith the 
Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will re- 
quire my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease 
from feeding the flock,' &c. Now, what pastors, called and 
owned of God, would take upon themselves this awful responsi- 
bility, if others could refuse to their spiritual children the grand 
external privilege of the gospel, or admit among them the most 
improper persons to mix with and corrupt them ? Truly, what- 
ever the pastors of other churches may do, we trust that ours 
will never put themselves under so dreadful a bondage. It is 
in vain to say, that others may be as tender and cautious as the 
pastors : for the pastors are the persons responsible to God, 
and, therefore, should by no means be thus fettered in their pas-' 
toral care. And those who are desirous to wrest out of the hands 
of ministers this important part of their duty, should rather go 
out themselves to the highways and hedges, and preach the 
everlasting gospel, or be contented with their present providen- 
tial situation. 

" Besides, the command of our Lord, Matt, xxviii, 19, ' Go ye 
— and teach all nations, baptizing them,' &c, is addressed to 
pastors only — to his disciples, and through them to all his minis- 
tering servants to the end of the world. But if ministers are to 
be the judges of the proper subjects of baptism, which is the grand 
initiatory ordinance into the visible church, how much more 



Sec. 10.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 3GI 

should they have a right to determine whom they will take 
under their own care, or whom God has given them out of the 
world by the preaching of his word ! For ministers to spend their 
strength, their tears, their prayers, their lives for the salvation 
of souls, and to have both themselves and theirs under the con- 
trol of those who never travailed in birth for them, and, there- 
fore, can never feel for them as their spiritual parents do, is a 
burden we cannot bear. Thus it is evident that both reason and 
Scripture do, in the clearest manner, make the privilege or 
power now under consideration essential to the gospel ministry." 

" 7. Though the presiding elder is far more proper to preside 
at the quarterly meetings than any other who regularly attends, 
yet the preacher who has the oversight of the circuit is, next 
to him, the most likely to be impartial.* It is on this principle, 
that the twelve judges of England make it a rule, that no one of 
them shall take that circuit which includes the place where he 
was born. Besides, every thing is finally determined by a ma 
jority of votes. On those extraordinary occasions, therefore, 
when, through sickness, or any other unavoidable hinderance, the 
presiding elder is absent, the next to him in office must be the 
moderator of the meeting. See the notes on the fifth section of 
this chapter. Let us all be willing to submit to that due sub- 
jection which is necessary to the good order of the whole, ' yea, 
all of you be subject one to another,' 1 Pet. v, 5. 

" 8. Next to the preaching of the gospel, the spreading of 
religious knowledge by the press is of the greatest moment to the 
people. The soul, while united to the body, must be daily fed 
with pious ideas, otherwise it will lose ground in the divine life. 
Though the Lord is wonderfully kind to those of his children 
who are so unfortunate as not to be able to read, yet we are to 
use all the means in our power. And though the Bible be infi- 
nitely preferable to all other books, yet we are, even on that very 
account, to study the writings of those spiritual and great divines, 
who have by their comments, essays, sermons, or other labours, 
explained the Bible : otherwise, we ought not to attend the 
preaching of the gospel ; for what is that but an explanation and 
application of the great truths contained in the Bible. He, there- 
fore, who has the charge of the circuit, is to be diligent in the 
sale of those books, which, according to the judgment of our con- 
ferences and bishops, are deemed profitable for the souls of our 
people, St. Paul had need of books, otherwise he would not 



« * w e do not mean that he is likely to have more grace or more 
integrity than the other members of the quarterly meeting, but only that 
he is not so much exposed to the temptations of prejudging a cause 
through consanguinity, affection, or a variety of other interests, as the 
other members are. We have a high esteem for all our official mem- 
bers, and would not intentionally offend them on any account." 



362 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. L 

have carried them with him in his extensive travels. ' The 
cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring 
with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments,''* 2 Tim. 
iv, 13. And to minds which are influenced by the love of God 
and man, the consideration that the profit of these books is 
wholly applied to the work of God, will be a further inducement 
to them to purchase our books. 

" 9. It is necessary that the yearly conference should have 
an exact account of the numbers in society, and of every thing 
material relating to each circuit under its control, otherwise it 
could not possibly judge of the progress of the work, and the 
fidelity of the preachers ; nor could the episcopacy have other- 
wise such complete knowledge of every thing for the stationing 
of the preachers. ' Let all things be done,' says St. Paul, 
' decently, and in order.' 

" 10. It is also necessary, that the presiding elder should receive 
regular details of the proceedings of those who have the over- 
sight of circuits, that he himself may have such a clear know- 
ledge of the state of the district, as may enable him to fill up his 
important trust, and to give such information of his district to 
the bishops, as may afford them a complete view of the whole. 
Thus are many eyes opened upon the great work, and the wis- 
dom of many united for the good of the whole. ' In the multi- 
tude of counsellors,' says the wise man, ' there is safety.' 

"11. The people of our special eharge want all the advice we can 
give them : and their stations and circumstances are so different, 
that the rule of meeting the men and women apart, and, when 
the society is large, and the time will admit of it, the married 
and single men apart, and the married and single women apart, has 
been attended with many blessings. Mr. Wesley, from happy 
experience, considered this as a very profitable means of grace. 
Ministers of the gospel should think no labour lost, or means in 
vain, by which they may be enabled to give their whole flock 
their due spiritual portion. ' The Lord said, Who then is that 
faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over 
his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh, shall 
find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him 
ruler over all that he hath.' Luke xii, 42-44. 

" 12. As the public money should be applied with the greatest 
fidelity, the accounts should be examined with the strictest 
scrutiny : and, therefore, the preacher who has the charge of the 
circuit is to examine the stewards' accounts, as a preparative t3 
their being laid before the quarterly meeting ; and this not out of 
disrespect to the stewards, whom we highly esteem for their dis- 



" * That is, the books written on parchment, the art of printing not 
being known in those days." 



Sec. 10.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 363 

interested labours of love, but to prevent, as far as possible, even 
any plausible pretence for suspicion. ' It is required in stewards,' 
says the apostle, 'that a man be found faithful.'' No per- 
son of integrity (and such we have reason to believe all our 
stewards are, without exception) will object to this rule." 

" 7. We are but one body of people, one grand society, whether 
in Europe or America ; united in the closest spiritual bonds, and 
in external bonds as far as the circumstances of things will admit. 
And as our numbers have increased exceedingly both in Europe 
and America, it is necessary we should be particularly cautious 
in receiving strangers into our society, under the pretext of their 
having been members in other places ; as the one end of our 
whole plan is to raise a holy people. On this account, all our 
conferences throughout the world mutually require that every 
member of our society who changes his place of abode, shall 
previously obtain a certificate from the preacher who has the 
charge of his circuit, who is most likely to be acquainted with 
his character, his own relations excepted : and that without such 
certificate he shall not be received into any other society." 

"11. The authority of appointing prayer meetings will not, we 
think, be disputed by any. Many of our greatest revivals have 
been begun and chiefly carried on in our prayer meetings. "VVe 
wish that the utmost zeal might be manifested by those who have 
the charge of circuits in the execution of this direction. The 
sacred writer, describing the effects of the day of Pentecost, ob- 
serves, ' Then they that gladly received his word were baptized : 
and the same day there were added unto them about three thou- 
sand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apotles' doc- 
trine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.'' 
Acts ii, 41, 42. There is no doubt but those words refer to so- 
cial worship. that every family in our connection had occa- 
sionally a prayer meeting at stated times for the benefit of their 
neighbours ! There would be no danger of wanting persons to 
pray : God would pour forth the spirit of grace and supplication ; 
and soon the flame of divine love would glow through every 
civilized part of this vast continent. The Lord hasten the day ! 

" 12. Public fasts are to be appointed by him at the regular 
times, and he is of course to take care, that himself and his 
helpers not only set the example, but also render those days 
peculiarly profitable by public meetings for the service of God." 

" 13. The whole organization of our church depends on an exact 
attention to all its distinctions and orders. — It has been, we doubt 
not, the close order and organization of our church, under the 
grace and providence of God, which has enabled us to resist all 
the shocks we have lately felt from the fanatical spirit of division, 
and to remain firm as a rock. 

" We may just add, that it is customary for the presiding elders, 
or in their absence the preachers who have the charge of circuits, 



364 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

to hold "quarterly, or half-yearly conferences with the local 
preachers and exhorters respectively under their care, to exa- 
mine into their grace, gifts, and usefulness, and into the state of 
the work of God — a custom of exceeding great utility, and there- 
fore, such as we trust will never be neglected." 



" SECTION XI. 

** Of the Trial of those who think they are moved by the Holy 
Ghost to preach.' 1 '' 

" We have enlarged on the present subject in our notes on 
the eighth section of this chapter. Every reader may from hence 
perceive the care we take in receiving our preachers and minis- 
ters. As the presiding elders, or those who have the charge 
of circuits, are attentive to the examination of the local preachers 
and exhorters, so the yearly conferences are attentive to the 
gifts, grace, and usefulness of all the travelling preachers and 
ministers. Nothing will do for us without the life of God. 
Brilliant parts, fine address, &c, are to us but tinkling cymbals, 
when destitute of the power of the Holy Ghost. 

" At the same time we are far from despising talents which 
may be rendered useful to the church of Christ. We know the 
worth of improved abilities : and nothing can equal our itinerant 
plan, in the opportunity it affords of suiting our various so- 
cieties with men of God who are endued with gifts agreeable 
to their respective wants." 

" SECTION XII. 

" Of the Matter and Manner of Preaching, and of other public 

Exercises." 

" The preaching of the gospel is of the first importance to 
the welfare of mankind ; and, consequently, the mode of preach- 
ing must be of considerable moment. It is not the fine meta- 
physical reasoning ; it is not the philosophical disquisitions of 
the works of nature under the pretext of raising up our minds 
to the great Creator, which regenerate the heart, and stamp the 
image of God upon the soul. No. The preacher must, 

" 1. Convince the sinner of his dangerous condition. He 
must ' break up the fallow ground,' Jer. iv, 3 ; Hos. x, 12 
' Cry aloud, spare not,' says the Lord to his prophet, ' lift up 
thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgres 
sion, and the house of Jacob their sins,' Isa. lviii, 1. He must 
set forth the depth of original sin, and show the sinner how far 
he is gone from original righteousness ; he must describe the 
vices of the world in their just and most striking colours, and 
enter into all the sinner's pleas and excuses for sin, and drive 



Sec. 12.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. ZQo 

him from all his subterfuges and strong-holds. He must labour 
to convince the formalist of the impossibility of being justified 
before God by his ceremonial or moral righteousness. Myriads 
are continually perishing, yea, thousands of those who acknow- 
ledge in speculation the great truths of the gospel, through their 
dependence upon ordinances or upon an outwardly moral life. 
' In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor 
uncircumcision, but a new creature? Gal. vi, 15. 

" 2. He must set forth the virtue of the atoning blood. He 
must bring the mourner to a present Saviour ; he must show 
the willingness of Christ this moment to bless him, and bring a 
present salvation home to his soul. Here he must be indeed a 
son of consolation. He must say nothing which can keep the 
trembling mourner at a distance ; he must not provide for him a 
rich feast, and hand it up to him in dishes too hot to be touched. 
There must be nothing now held forth to the view of the peni- 
tent but the everlasting arms, and the mercy which is ready to 
embrace him on every side. ' Come unto me,' says our Lord, 
' all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest,' Matt, xi, 28. ' Him that cometh to me, I will in no 
wise cast out,' John vi, 37. ' Having, therefore, brethren, 
boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, — let us 
« draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith,' &c, 
Heb. x, 19-22. 

" 3. He must, like a true shepherd, feed the lambs and sheep 
of Christ. He must point out to the newly justified the wiles 
of Satan, and strengthen them if they stagger through unbelief. 
He must set before them the glorious privileges offered to them 
in the gospel. He must nourish them with the pure milk of the 
word. Those who are more adult in grace, he must feed with 
strong meat. He must show r them the necessity of being cruci- 
fied to the world, and of dying daily ; that ' if they mortify not 
the deeds of the flesh, they shall die.' He must not spare the 
remaining man of sin ; he must anatomize the human heart, 
and follow self-will and self-love through all their windings. 
And all this being addressed to the children of God, he must 
do it with great tenderness. ' I protest by your rejoicing 
which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily? says the 
apostle. 1 Cor. xv, 31. 'If ye live after the flesh ye shall 
die : but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of 
the body, ye shall live,' Rom. viii, 13. ' Grow in grace, and 
in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,' 
2 Pet. iii, 18. 

" And now he must again turn the son of consolation. He 
must hold forth Christ as an all-sufficient Saviour, as 'able to 
save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing 
he ever liveth to make intercession for them,' Heb. vii, 25. 
He must describe to them, in all its richest views, the blessing 

24 



366 Notes on the Discipline, ICh. 1 

of perfect love. He must now declare how our great Ze- 
rubbabel is this moment able and willing to reduce the mountain 
into a plain. And all the above he must endeavour more or 
less to introduce into every sermon which he delivers to a 
mixed congregation. ' The very God of peace sanctify you 
wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be 
preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it,' 1 Thess. 
v, 23. ' This is the will of God, even your sanctification,' 
1 Thess. iv, 3. 

" He must preach the law as well as the gospel. He must 
hold forth our adorable Redeemer as a Prophet to teach, a Priest 
to atone, and a King to reign in us and over us. He must 
break the stony heart, as well as bind up the broken. But still 
holiness, inward and outward, must be his end : holiness must 
be his aim : and Antinomianism, and every doctrine which op- 
poses holiness, he must contend with, till he gain the victory, 
or render his hearers utterly inexcusable. Who is fit for these 
things 1 Lord God, help us all ! Let us do our utmost, and 
leave the blessing to the Lord. 

" Acts iii, 22, ' A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up 
unto you of your brethren.' Heb. v, 6, ' Thou art a Priest for 
ever.' Isa. xxxii, 1, 'Behold a King shall reign in righteous- 
ness.' O let us never be wearied of exalting Christ, as living 
in us, as well as dying for us. 

" Some useful smaller advices are now given : 

" 1. Never break an engagement. This we have enlarged 
upon under the eighth section of this chapter. 

" 2. The second advice belongs only to town congregations, 
where they have clocks and watches to direct them. In such 
cases, if they attend not exactly at the appointed time, they will 
be equally tardy, if the preacher habitually wait for them ever 
so long. But everywhere let him be always at the time. It. is 
inexcusable in one to make a thousand, or even a hundred, wait 
for him. Let ' no man put a stumbling block, or an occasion 
to fall, in his brother's way,' Rom. xiv, 13. 

" 3. The deepest seriousness at ail times becomes the minis- 
ter of the gospel : but in the pulpit there should not be even 
the appearance of a deviation from it. An ambassador of an 
eartnly government, when immediately engaged in the duties 
of his embassy, would be far from trifling : how much more 
should an ambassador of God ? ' Do the work,' therefore, ' of 
an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry,' 2 Tim. iv, 5. 

" 4. A preacher who seeks the honour which comes from 
God, and not that which comes from man, will consider the spi- 
ritual wants of his audience, and choose his text and subject 
accordingly. He will not preach to show his own abilities, but 
merely to do good. And, indeed, if he preach not from thi. 



Sec. 12.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 3fi7 

pure motive alone, he has no right to expect the blessing of God 
upon his labours. See Luke xii, 42-44. 

" 5. Be cautious of allegorizing. It seldom informs the 
judgment, and still seldomer warms the heart. It may be 
called a pretty way of talking. The preacher may be admired, 
but the hearer will be little edified. And what is applause, or 
any thing but the salvation of souls, to the faithful minister of 
Christ ? The genuine language of his heart is, ' I ask not 
riches, honours, or pleasures, gain or applause ; I ask only for 
the salvation of souls !' ' And I, brethren, when I came to you, 
came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring 
unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know 
any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.' 
1 Cor. ii, 1, 2. 

" 6. When the preacher has fixed upon the subject which he 
judges most suitable to the states of the souls he is going to 
address, he must keep to his point. He must labour to arrange 
his ideas, and to speak to the understanding as well as the 
heart. He must first endeavour fully to explain, and then to 
apply, to ' show' himself ' a workman that needeth not to be 
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,' 2 Tim. ii, 15. 

" 7. He must take care that his good be not evil spoken of, 
or laughed at, if possible, through any awkward or unmeaning 
gestures in the pulpit. When the instruction of immortal 
spirits is his employment, he should mind every thing, little 
and great, which can assist him in this glorious work, in 
which angels would envy him, if it were possible for them to 
indulge so base a passion. ' These things speak and exhort, 
and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.' 
Tit. ii, 15. 

" 8. Be not too forward in writing for the press. Nothing 
disgraces a cause so much as to attempt to defend it in a 
feeble manner. Let not a few friends who are attached to you, 
and are not in the least degree judges of composition, prevaJ 
upon you to become an author. To write well requires a life 
devoted in a great measure to close and severe study. Preach- 
ing the everlasting gospel and spiritual instruction, in season 
and out of season, are your grand objects. There are so many 
excellent publications already in the world, which by the means 
of the press may be put into every hand, that there are fewer 
necessary to be written than many imagine. A few good 
writers in one church are quite sufficient, especially in ours, 
which has already been honoured with a Wesley and a Fletcher. 
But particularly comply with our express rules on this subject. 
' Of making many books there is no end,' says ithe wise man. 
Eccles. xii, 12. 

" 9. Scarcely any thing tends to damp divine service more 
than to be praying too long, and in a languid manner. Few 



?88 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

things more tend to bring a congregation into a formal spirit. 
Sometimes, indeed, the minister is led within the veil in an 
unusual way, and may then justly give full vent to the holy 
flame. But on other occasions let the prayer be very fervent, 
and of a moderate length. ' When ye pray,' says our Lord, 
i use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do : for they think that 
they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye there- 
fore like unto them.' Matt, vi, 7, 8. 

".10. A comment on a portion of Scripture is sometimes very 
profitable to the congregation, especially when a warm applica- 
tion is adjoined. And it is exceedingly useful for young preach- 
ers to habituate themselves to the giving of warm exhortations, 
otherwise they may get into a formal way of preaching without 
a due application of the subject. A fervent exhortation is pre- 
ferable to a sermon ivithout application. ' Till I come,' says 
St. Paul to Timothy, ' give attendance to reading, to exhorta- 
tion, to doctrine,' 1 Tim. iv, 13. 

"11. Souls are of so much value that we should improve 
every opportunity for their good. Shall the men of the world 
have carnal festivals on their birth-days, and shall we not com- 
memorate the birth-day of our Lord 1 The primitive fathers 
of the church observed the day, which is now kept sacred by 
most of the churches of Christendom. Irenaeus, who was one 
of the fathers, was a disciple of St. John ; and the mother of 
Jesus lived with that apostle from the crucifixion of our Lord. 
There cannot, therefore, be a doubt but St. John knew, and, of 
course, his disciples, Irenaeus, Ignatius, and Polycarp, the day 
of our Lord's nativity ; and from them all the fathers of the 
church. Again, shall states and nations celebrate the day of 
liberation from slavery or oppression, or some other glorious 
event, from year to year 1 And shall we not celebrate by a holy 
festival the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, and the 
mission of the Holy Spirit, to which we are indebted for bless 
ings infinitely more valuable than any which the revolution of 
states can possibly afford V 

" SECTION XIII. 

" Of the Duty of Preachers to God, themselves, and one 
another." 

"1. A minister of the gospel, who has consecrated all he is 
and has, and all he can do and suffer, to the service of his God, 
should consider himself as eminently called to walk with God 
His peculiar calling is of the most public nature. It is a public 
profession, that he is a reformer of mankind : it says more 
loudly than any words, ' I am, or ought to be, one of the best 
of men ; follow me as I follow Christ.' It is the very depth of 
hypocrisy to preach and not live the gospel. Of all hypocrites 



Sec. 13.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 369 

such a one is the greatest. Nay, it is in vain to preach, it is in 
vain to show forth the most shining' talents, if the life of the 
preacher correspond not with his doctrines. He may possibly 
have the reward he seeks for here below : but the approbation 
of God he never will receive. ' Many will say to me in that 
day,' observes our Lord, ' Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied 
in thy name ] and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy 
name done many wonderful works 1 And then will I profess 
unto them, I never knew you : depart from me, ye that work 
iniquity.' Matt, vii, 22, 23. 

" The work of God must also lie near his heart : yea, his 
very soul must enter into it. Nor must he be contented to 
preach, and then leave the souls he has been blessed to at the 
mercy of the world. He must seek out the awakened. He 
must fence in the flock. He must not only love, but, according 
to his sphere of action, recommend and enforce Christian dis- 
cipline, especially the discipline of that church of which he is a 
member ; without which there would be nothing but anarchy 
and confusion ; and the word of God would in general become 
'like water spilt upon the ground.' 'Neither count I my life 
dear unto myself,' says St. Paul, ' so that I might finish my 
course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of 
the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God,' 
Acts xx, 24. 

" 2. The preachers should tell each other in the spirit of love 
and meekness, and, at the same time, with humble boldness, 
all they think and all they fear of each other, in respect to 
every thing of consequence, particularly in regard to the spi- 
ritual life, the practice of devotion, and spiritual conversation. 
' Faithful are the wounds of a friend,' says Solomon. Prov. 
xx vii, 6. 

"3. Ministers of the gospel should be eminently attentive to 
all the means of grace, particularly private prayer. We do 
rejoice that our ministers are examples to the flock in this re- 
spect. When in the mountains and wildernesses they have no 
chamber to themselves, they will retire into the woods and other 
solitary places, and spend much of their time in that most useful 
exercise. that we may continue to preserve this spirit and 
practice ! ' Thou, when thou prayest,' says Christ, ' enter into 
thy closet : and, when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy 
Father which is in secret ; and thy Father which seeth in 
secret, shall reward thee openly,' Matt, vi, 6. We should also 
in the families, where we from time to time reside, be examples 
to all* The whole world is composed of families. A travelling 
preacher may bring as many souls to glory by his fidelity in the 
families which he visits d,s by his public preaching. See the 
fifteenth section of this chapter. 

" 4. Preachers of the gospel should be much conversant m 



3*70 Notes on the Discipline, [Cfo. 2. 

the Scriptures. They should never be without a Bible. That 
invaluable book is like the starry heavens on a clear night : 
cast your eyes on any given part, and some bright stars will 
immediately strike your sight ; but the more you gaze, the more 
stars will appear to your view. It is an inexhaustible mine of 
the richest treasures. The more infidels despise and oppose 
it, the more should we love, study, and defend it. It is reproach- 
ful to see a minister of God lounging away his time, when the 
word of truth and salvation is within his reach." 



" SECTION XIV. 

" Rules by which we should continue, or desist from, preaching 
at any Place." 

In the notes to this section we find the following mention of a 
usage no longer known : — 

" The stationing of the preachers is in the episcopacy, but 
the determination of the number of preachers to be sent to a cir- 
cuit is in the yearly conference : with powers invested in the 
episcopacy and presiding eldership to meet the openings of grace 
and providence in the intervals of the conference." 

" SECTION xv. 

" Of visiting from House to House, guarding against those 
Sins that are so common to Professors, and enforcing prac- 
tical Religion." 

"In the plantations, which make the chief part of these 
states, and in which, of course, the chief part of our societies 
reside, the preachers cannot visit many of our competent families 
in a day. But they may almost daily visit many of the poor — 
many of those who most want their help. Various disagreeable 
circumstances, arising from the inattention of the poor to clean- 
liness, &c, may attend our zealous observance of the directions 
given in this section on the present subject, as far as it respects 
them. But where is our zeal for God, where our crucifixion to 
the world, where our regard for souls, if such considerations 
move us in the least ? Our Lord gives it as one grand proof of 
his being the Messiah, that ' the poor have the gospel preached 
to them,' Matt, xi, 5. O then, if we love Christ, if we wish to 
be his ministers and disciples, let us not forget the poor ! We 
have but little silver or gold to offer them ; but we have what is 
infinitely more precious, even grace, pardon, holiness, Christ, 
heaven. Let us, therefore, labour at least as much in the 
houses of the poor as of the rich or competent : and this we 
certainly shall, if we be not interested by carnal or temporal 
motives — if we breathe the true spirit of missionaries." 



Sec. 16.., By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 371 



" SECTION XVI. 

" Of the Instruction of Children.'' 1 

" The proper education of children is of exceeding great mo 
ment to the welfare of mankind. About one half of the human 
race are under the age of sixteen, and may be considered, the in- 
fants excepted, as capable of instruction. The welfare of the 
states and countries in which they live, and, what is infinitely 
more, the salvation of their souls, do, under the grace and provi- 
dence of God, depend in a considerable degree upon their educa- 
tion. But, alas ! the great difficulty lies in finding men and 
women of genuine piety as instructers. Let us, however, en- 
deavour to supply these spiritual defects. Let us follow the 
directions of this section, and. we shall meet many on the day of 
judgment, who will acknowledge before the great Judge, and an 
assembled universe, that their first desires after Christ and salva- 
tion were received in their younger years by our instrumentality. 
In towns we may, without difficulty, meet the children weekly, 
and in the plantations advise and pray with them every time we 
visit their houses : nay, in the country, if we give notice that 
at such a time we shall spend an hour or two in such a house 
with those children who shall attend, many of the neighbours 
will esteem it a privilege to send their children to us at the time 
appointed. But we must exercise much patience, as well as 
zeal, for the successful accomplishment of this work. And if 
we can with love and delight condescend to their ignorance and 
childishness, and yet endeavour continually to raise up their 
little minds to the once dying but now exalted Saviour, we shall 
be made a blessing to thousands of them. 

" But let us labour among the poor in this respect, as well as 
among the competent. O if our people in the cities, towns, and 
villages were but sufficiently sensible of the magnitude of this duty, 
and its acceptableness to God — if they w r ould establish sabbath 
schools, wherever practicable, for the benefit of the children of 
the poor, and sacrifice a few public ordinances every Lord's day 
to this charitable and useful exercise, God would be to them in- 
stead of all the means they lose ; yea, they would find, to their 
present comfort and the increase of their eternal glory, the truth 
and sweetness of those words, ' Mercy is better than sacrifice,' 
Matt, ix, 13 ; xii, 7 ; Hos. vi, 6. But there is so much of the 
cross in all this ! O when shall we be the true followers of a 
crucified Saviour !" 



CV2 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

" SECTION XVII. 

" Of employing our Time profitably, <$-c." 

" We have already enlarged so much on the public and private 
duties of ministers, that on the limited plan and laconic mode we 
have adopted in these annotations, it may not be necessary to 
say much more on this subject. We would just recommend to 
our ministers and preachers, agreeably to the directions given in 
this section, much reading and study. We have various ranks 
of men to deal with, and as far as possible should be prepared for 
them all ; that as scribes instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, 
we may, like unto a man that is a householder, bring forth out 
of our treasures things new and old. See Matt, xiii, 52. A taste 
for reading profitable books is an inestimable gift. It adds to the 
comfort of life far beyond what many conceive, and qualifies us, 
if properly directed, for very extensive usefulness in the church 
of God. It takes off all the miserable listlessness of a sluggish 
life ; and gives to the mind a strength and activity it could not 
otherwise acquire. But to obtain and preserve this taste for, this 
delight in, profitable reading, we must daily resist the natural 
tendency of man to indolence and idleness. And when we con- 
sider the astonishing activity of the enemies of revealed truth, to 
disseminate their pernicious doctrines, we must allow that it be- 
hooves every minister of Jesus Christ, not only to be able to 
' give an answer to every man that asketh him a reason of the 
hope that is in him, with meekness and fear,' (1 Pet. iii, 15,) 
but to answer and silence the most subtle arguments of the pro- 
fessed enemies of our adorable Lord. ' Till I come,' says St. 
Paul, 'give attendance to reading,' 1 Tim. iv, 13. Heb 
vi, 11, 12, 'We desire — that ye be not slothful.' See also 
Ephes. v, 16 ; Col. iv, 5 ; 2 Tim. ii, 15, and iv, 13." 

" SECTION XIX. 

" Of the Method by which immoral Travelling Ministers or 
Preachers shall be brought to Trial, <5fC." 

" The section now under consideration is of very great mo- 
ment. Let us take a view of it under the three heads into which 
it divides itself. 

"1. The answer to the first question serves to remove every 
reasonable objection to the suspending power of the presiding el- 
der. See section fifth of this chapter. The trial of a minis- 
ter or preacher for gross immorality shall be in the presence of 
at least three ministers. These ministers have, of course, full 
liberty to speak their sentiments either in favour or disfavour of 



Sec. 19. J By Bishops Coke and Asbury. sl3 

the person accused. This must always serve as a strong check 
on the presiding elder, respecting the abuse of his power. Am 
act of tyranny would be so opposed by the ministers present, and 
so represented afterward in favour of the oppressed, that the pre- 
siding elder who would venture upon an arbitrary step would 
find himself dreadfully embarrassed. Besides, those ministers 
could lay the whole affair before the General Conference, if near 
at hand ; or before the ensuing yearly conference ; or, as soon as 
possible, before a bishop : in which cases, the injured person might 
have complete redress, and. the presiding elder censured or 
punished according to his deserts : and those ministers could 
give all possible information, having been present at the whole 
of the trial. 

" The passage in St. Matthew, ch. xviii, 15-17, ' If thy bro- 
ther shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between 
thee and him alone,' &c, has nothing to do with the present 
subject. We are now speaking of gross immoralities committed 
by preachers of the gospel. This does not concern the trespass 
of a private person, but the gross offence of a minister against 
the church of God. Undoubtedly, a minister so offending should 
not be suffered to remain in his office till the next yearly confer- 
ence, as many souls might be ruined thereby in the interval. 
There is certainly as much mercy due to the people as to the mi- 
nister ; and in the present instance more, as he is but one, and 
they are many ; and he is invested with his office, not for their 
destruction, but for their edification. See 2 Cor. x, 8, and xiii, 10. 
But scarcely any thing can be more destructive to the cause of 
God than the immoral life of a minister. Such an Achan in the 
camp must, more or less, bring down a curse upon the cause. 
1 Sam. ii, 27-59, ' There came a man of God unto Eli, and 
said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, — Wherefore kick ye at my 
sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my 
habitation ; and honourest thy sons above me,' &c. 2 Sam. xi, 12, 
' Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial ; they knew not the 
Lord.' 2 Sam. hi, 11-14, 'The Lord said to Samuel, Behold, 
I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one 
that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against 
Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house : when 
I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him, that I 
will judge his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knoiceth ; 
because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not, 
&c. See that whole history. Matt, vii, 22, 23, ' Many will say 
to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy 
name 1 and in thy name have cast out devils ] and in thy name 
done many wonderful works 1 And then will I profess unto 
them, I never knew you : depart from me, ye that work iniquity, ,* 
Rom. ii, 3, ' Thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them 
which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shall escape 



37-i Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1. 

the judgment of God V 1 Tim. v, 19, ' Against an elder receive 
not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses? 

" 2. The mode of process directed in the answer to the second 
question, is nearly according to our Lord's directions, concern- 
ing the offences of the private members of a church, in Matt. 
xviii, 15-17, 'If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and 
tell him his fault between thee and him alone : if he shall hear 
thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, 
then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two 
or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he 
shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church : but if he 
neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen 
man and a publican.' First the preacher is to be reproved by 
his senior in office. On a second offence, the minister reprehend- 
ing, is to take with him one, two, or three witnesses : and if 
still incurable, the offender is to be brought before that part of 
the church to which he is particularly responsible, namely, the 
yearly conference. He is not to be tried by the members of his 
circuit or district, for they are the complainants — the persons sup- 
posed to be aggrieved — but by his elders and equals. There 
is, however, a considerable difference between the persons con- 
cerned in the directions given by our Lord in the portion of 
Scripture quoted above, and those who are adverted to in the 
present section. That scripture evidently refers to the private 
members of a church ; and the minister himself, after private re- 
proof and public reprehension, first before two or three witnesses, 
and then before the church, is to exclude the person, if impeni- 
tent. But of this we shall treat largely, when we come to con- 
sider the eighth section of the second chapter. Improper 
tempers, manifested in the conversation or conduct of a minister 
of the gospel, may be productive of more evil than all his public 
labours can possibly compensate. But, at the same time, he may 
not be so criminal, but that he may be borne with for a time, in 
hope of reformation. 

" N. B. The reason why the expression, one, two, or three, 
witnesses is mentioned in the section under this head, is, because 
it may, in some instances, be impossible to have more than one 
besides the reprehending minister, without sending to a neigh- 
bouring circuit ; and as no public censure can pass upon the 
offending preacher in this case till the sitting of the yearly con- 
ference, it would not be proper to take a minister of the gospel 
from his labours in another circuit, for two or three days, to an 
swer the present purpose. 

" ' The servant of the Lord,' says St. Paul, ' must not strive ; 
but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient ; in meekness 
instructing those that oppose themselves,' 2 Tim. ii, 24, 25. 
' He [Christ] turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not 
what manner of spirit ye are of,' Luke ix, 55. 



Sec. 20.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 375 

,; 3. It w.'ll, we believe, be allowed by all who love the truth as 
it is in Jesus, that the heretical doctrines are as dangerous, at 
least to the hearers, as the immoral life of a preacher ; and, there- 
fore, the same process is provided for both cases. Those must 
indeed be blind, who can sit for any time under the ministry of 
an Arian, Socinian, Universalian, or any other heretical minister : 
' and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch,' 
Matt, xv, 14, and Luke vi, 39. But as we would guard against 
a hasty and arbitrary measure in a matter which sometimes, 
perhaps, it may be difficult to determine, the case alluded to at 
present shall lie over to the yearly conference, if the preacher 
be perfectly silent, in public and private, on the subjects objected 
to. But if he will go on to dishonour Christ, or to oppose the 
doctrines of holiness, or to introduce novel sentiments or ' vain 
jangling,' (1 Tim. i, 6.) to draw our people from the one thing 
needful, — CHRIST dying for and living in us, — an immediate 
stop must be put to such dangerous, such pernicious proceedings. 

"Matt, vii, 15, 16, ' Beware of false prophets, which come to 
you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening w^olves.' 
Tit. iii, 10, 11, 'A man that is a heretic, after the first and 
second admonition, reject;' (here the authority of judging and 
rejecting is invested in Timothy ;) ' knowing that he that is such 
is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.' 2 Pet. 
ii, 1-3, ' But there were false prophets also among the people, 
even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall 
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought 
them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many 
shall follow their pernicious ways ; by reason of whom the way 
of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness 
shall they, with feigned words, make merchandise of you : whose 
judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation 
slumbereth not.' Rev. ii, 2, ' I know thy works, and thy labour, 
and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are 
evil : and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and 
are not, and hast found them liars.' Rev. ii, 20, 'Notwith- 
standing I have a few things against thee, because thou [the 
angel of the church in Thyatira] sufferest that woman, Jezebel, 
which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my 
servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto 
idols.' 

" Before we conclude our notes on this section, we must entreat 
our reader to notice, not only here, but throughout the whole 
of our economy, the appeals which are allowed upon all occasions, 
as far as the nature and circumstances of things will possibly 
allow of them, without making our economy intricate and hur- 
densome." 



3*76 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch, h 



" SECTION XXI. 

" Of the Local Preachers.'''' 

" By this mode of trial we are desirous of showing the most 
tender regard toward our local brethren. We are all but men. 
The best of us may fall into sin, or be drawn into dangerous and 
pernicious errors; and it is sometimes necessary to stop the 
plague by an immediate stroke of discipline. But we would not 
have so important a character as that of one of our local breth- 
ren even touched to its disadvantage by only one preacher, 
who possibly might be younger than the accused. We have, 
therefore, provided that a small meeting of respectable persons 
shall be held, before a single step be taken in the business. 
The trial will then come before the most weighty assembly in 
the circuit. 

" We have directed the yearly conference, upon an appeal, to 
determine upon the merits of the cause from the memorial of 
the quarterly meeting, on account of the difficulty, if not impos- 
sibility, of bringing the necessary witnesses, perhaps thirty, fifty, 
or a hundred miles from their home : nor have we any right or 
authority to lay such a burden on any of our people. In short, 
we have done the best we can, according to the nature of the 
circumstances in which we are placed." 



" SECTION XXII. 

"0/ Baptism^ 

We need only observe here, that we are conscious that sprink- 
ling, pouring, and immersing have been practised by diiferent 
churches, in each of which the pure gospel was preached, and 
the life of God, more or less, experienced ; and that all these 
modes are, more or less, acceptable to God, when adminis- 
tered with sincerity. At the same time, we know well, that as 
much or more may be said in favour of sprinkling than of 
immersion, from the account given us in Scripture of the bap- 
tism of John himself: and the primitive churches in general, 
we believe, favoured the practice of sprinkling. However, we 
would meet the tender mind, and in matters unessential conde- 
scend, as far as we conscientiously can, to the feelings and 
sentiments of all." 

" As we have before observed, our aim is to save souls, and 
not to enrich ourselves : therefore, Mr. Wesley and our General 
Conference placed our whole economy as far distant as possible 
from that of a lucrative ministry. We are determined not to sell 
the ordinances of God : in this no man shall make our glorying 



Sec. 24.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 377 

void. Matt, x, 8,/ Freely ye have received,' says, our Lord, 
' freely give.' 1 Cor. ix, 11-18, 'If .we have sown unto you 
spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal 
things ? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not 
we rather! Nevertheless, we have not used this power ; but 
suffer all things lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. — I 
have used none of these things ; neither have I written these 
things that it should be so done unto me ; for it were better for 
me to die than that any man should make my glorying void.' " 

" SECTION XXIII. 

"Of the Lord's Supper." 

" As the Scripture is silent about the posture of the communi- 
cants, we prefer the most humble, whatever our Saviour might 
have permitted when he instituted the sacred ordinance. Be- 
sides, as we always receive the elements in prayer, we for that 
reason also prefer the kneeling posture. We must also observe, 
that our elders should be very cautious how they admit to the 
communion persons who are not in our society. It would be 
highly injurious to our brethren, if we suffered any to partake of 
the Lord's supper with them, whom we would not readily admit 
into our society on application made to us. Those whom we 
judge unfit to partake of our profitable, prudential means of grace, 
we should most certainly think improper to be partakers of an 
ordinance which has been expressly instituted by Christ himself." 

" SECTION XXIV. 

" Of Public Worship." 

" Our church insists on the reading of the Scriptures in the 
congregation, and gives directions accordingly. This is of the 
utmost consequence, and we trust will be most sacredly observed 
by all our ministers and preachers. A peculiar blessing accom- 
panies the public reading as well as preaching the word of God 
to attentive, believing souls. And in these days of infidelity no- 
thing should be omitted which may lead the people to the love of 
the Holy Bible. 

" The meeting of the society also, wherever practicable, is of 
considerable moment. There are various weighty subjects, pe- 
culiarly suitable to religious societies, which cannot be so well 
enlarged upon to a mixed congregation. Brotherly union and 
fellowship, Christian discipline in all its branches, and various 
other particulars may be enlarged upon and enforced with great 
propriety and success on such occasions. At these times also we 
may enter more minutely into the different parts of the relative 



378 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 1, 

duties, than we can to unawakened souls, whose whole life is 
sin, and who are at the best only ' like unto whited sepulchres, 
which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of 
dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.' " 

" section xxv. 
" Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing." 

" The singing of psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in the 
congregation, has been allowed by all the churches of God in al] 
ages (one modern society excepted) to be a part oi divine wor- 
ship ; and, from its very nature, it evidently belongs to the whole 
congregation. It would be unseemly for the minister alone to 
sing : but if this be the duty of one member of the congregation, 
it must be the duty of all who have voices for singing ; and there 
are very few who may not join in the tenor part, all the defects 
of their voices being swallowed up in the general sound. Few 
things can be more pleasing to the Lord than a congregation 
with one heart and one voice, praising his holy name. It is in- 
deed to be feared, that there is seldom a large congregation, 
where every individual is sincere. However, all who do in sin- 
cerity desire a blessing, should strive to join in the general cho- 
rus — we mean, in every part of the hymn. If one part of it be 
above the experience of the singer, he should adjoin a silent 
prayer, that the Lord may give him the grace he needs ; for the 
Lord listens to hear what the heart speaks, and takes all as no- 
thing, if the heart be silent. Again, when his experience rises 
above the hymn, his secret prayer should be in behalf of that 
part of the congregation which it suits : but in the proper hymns 
of praise he may throw off all reserve, for we are all infinitely 
indebted to our good God. From these remarks we surely must 
be sensible of the necessity of confining ourselves to simple tunes, 
as the fugue-tunes have an unavoidable tendency to confine to a 
few this part of divine worship, which belongs to the whole. 
And those, we think, have made few remarks on public worship, 
who have not observed, on the one hand, how naturally the fugue- 
tunes puff up with vanity those who excel in them ; and on the 
other hand, how it deadens devotion, and only at the best raises 
an admiration of the singers, and not of Christ. 

" When it is recommended in this section to the preacher 
sometimes to stop and address the people in the course of singing, 
the substance only of what he should say is mentioned there. It 
is not intended, that he should speak abruptly on such occasions, 
but with softness and due respect on the necessity of singing and 
of performing every act of devotion from the heart." 



Sec. 28.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 370 



" SECTION XXVIII. 

" Of the Chartered Fund:' 

" We need not be urgent on our benevolent friends to promote 
this great charity. Their own feelings, we well know, will suf- 
ficiently prevail, when proper light is given to them on the sub- 
ject. Our brethren who have laboured on the mountains, on the 
western waters, and in the poorer circuits in general, have suf- 
fered unspeakable hardships, merely for the want of some esta- 
blished fund, in which the competent members of our society 
might safely lodge what their benevolent hearts would rejoice to 
give, for the spread of the gospel. On the same account, many 
of our worn-out preachers, some of whom quickly consumed 
their strength by their great exertions for the salvation of souls, 
have been brought into deep distress ; and the widows and or- 
phans of our preachers have been sometimes reduced to extreme 
necessity, who might have lived in comfort, if not in affluence, 
enjoying the sweets of domestic life, if the preachers who were 
the husbands on one hand, and the fathers on the other, had not 
loved their Redeemer better than wife or children, or life itself. 
And it is to be lamented, if possible, with tears of blood, that we 
have lost scores of our most able married ministers — men who, 
like good householders, could upon all occasions bring things 
new and old out of their treasury, but were obliged to retire from 
the general work, because they saw nothing before them for their 
wives and children, if they continued itinerants, but misery and 
ruin. But the present institution will, we trust, under the bless- 
ing of God, greatly relieve us in, if not entirely deliver us from, 
these mighty evils. For we have full confidence, that the hearts 
of our friends will be engaged, and their hands stretched forth on 
this important occasion ; and a provision will be made, sufficient 
to preserve the objects of the charity from want, which is all that 
is aimed at or desired." 



" CHAPTER II 

" SECTION I. 

" The Nature, Design, and General Rules of the United 
Societies." 

" The present section forms, perhaps, one of the completest 
systems of Christian ethics or morals, for its size, which ever 
was published by an uninspired writer. We speak this the more 
readily, because it was the work of the first divine, we believe, 
since the time of the apostles, the late Mr. Wesley, after matured 



380 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 2. 

experience, with only a small addition, which the circumstances 
of these states required. The rules are so clear, and so obviously 
approve themselves to every candid mind, that we need only 
touch briefly upon them, proving them by quotations from the 
sacred writings. 

" 1. Of class meeting we shall speak hereafter : we would here 
only explain a few particulars concerning the office of a leader. 
We have found it necessary in innumerable instances to enlarge 
the number of the class, from the impossibility of providing a 
sufficiency of class-leaders, if the number were always limited to 
twelve. The office is of«vast consequence. The revival of the 
work of God does perhaps depend as much upon the whole body 
of leaders, as it does upon the whole tody of preachers. We 
have almost constantly observed, that when a leader is dull, or 
careless, or inactive — when he has not abilities or zeal sufficient 
to reprove with courage though with gentleness, and to press a 
present salvation upon the hearts of the sincere — the class is, in 
general, languid : but, on the contrary, when the leader is much 
alive to God and faithful in his office, the class is also, in general, 
lively and spiritual . This arises from the nature of the Chris- 
tian plan of salvation. It is the same, in general, with a minis- 
ter and his flock ; and every leader, as we have before intimated, 
is, in some degree, a gospel minister : though we ma)'' add, that 
among us a spiritual body of leaders may counteract the other- 
wise pernicious consequences of a languid ministry. 

" At the beginning of Methodism, the leader called weekly 
upon each of his class, in which case twelve were quite sufficient 
for his inspection. But very soon it was found abundantly pre- 
ferable for the whole class to meet the leader together, not only 
for the sake of the leader, but for the good of the people, who 
by that means enjoy the unspeakable advantage of Christian fel- 
lowship. At the same time the leader is expected to visit the 
members of his class at their own houses, especially when they 
are sick or confined, as often as his circumstances will admit." 

" 4. The buying and selling the souls and bodies of men (for 
what is the body without the soul but a dead carcass 1) is a compli- 
cated crime.* It was indeed, in some measure, overlooked in the 
Jews by reason of the wonderful hardness of their hearts, as was 
the keeping of concubines and the divorcing of wives at pleasure, 
but it is totally opposite to the whole spirit of the gospel. It 



" * Are there not many proprietors to be found on this continent, who 
restrain their slaves from enjoying the privileges of the gospel, and 
thereby invade the rights of the souls and consciences of their slaves, 
as well as their bodies? At the same time we must give the credit 
due to multitudes who do not thus enslave the minds of their servants, 
but allow them full kberty to attend the preaching of the gospel, 
wherever they think they are most profited." 



Sec. 2.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 381 

has an immediate tendency to fill the mind with pride and 
tyranny, and is frequently productive of almost every act of 
lust and cruelty which can disgrace the human species. Even 
the moral philosopher will candidly confess, that if there be a 
God, every perfection he possesses must be opposed to a 
practice so contrary to every moral idea which can influence 
the human mind.*' 

"6. We are debtors to the constitution under which we live 
(we, especially in these United States) for all the blessings of law 
and liberty which we enjoy : and without a government to support 
that constitution, all would be anarchy and confusion. It is, 
therefore, our duty to support it by bearing, with our fellow-citi- 
zens, an equal proportion of its expenses ; and it is as great a 
crime to rob our country, as to rob a private individual ; and the 
blindness of too many to this truth, injures not in the least the 
veracity of it." 

" SECTION II. 

" Of Class Meeting." 

kk So much has been already spoken concerning the office oi 
a leader in the notes on the preceding section, and on the tenth 
of the first chapter, that we have hardly room to enlarge with- 
out tautology. But from the whole we may observe, how 
careful our ministers should be in their choice of leaders. For 
our leaders, under God, are the sinews of our society, and our 
revivals will ever, in a great measure, rise or fall with them. 
Our ministers and preachers should therefore consider no time 
better employed than that which they bestow on the leaders, in 
examining them, directing them, and stirring them up to their 
holy and momentous duty. 

" We have made many remarks in the course of our work on 
the necessity of Christian fellowship : but this cannot be carried 
on to any considerable advantage without stated solemn times 
of assembling. The meetings held for this purpose must have 
a name to distinguish them. We call ours class meetings, and 
band meetings ; but of the former we are to speak at present. 
Here we must notice, that it is the thing itself, Christian fellow- 
ship, and not the name, which we contend for. The experience 
of about sixty years has fully convinced us of its necessity ; and 
we ourselves can say that in the course of an extensive acquaint- 
ance with men and things, and the church of God, for about 
twenty or thirty years, we have rarely met with one who has 
been much devoted to God, and at the same time not united in 
close Christian fellowship to some religious society or other. 
Far be it from us to suppose that no fellowship meetings, except 
ours, are owned of God : so illiberal a sentiment never entered 
our minds. But we must say, that those who entirely neglect 
25 



382 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 2 

this divinely-instituted ordinance (however various the names 
given to it, or the modes of conducting it, may be) manifest that 
they are either ashamed to acknowledge as their brethren the 
true children of God, or ' are enemies of the cross of Christ,' 
Phil, iii, 18. They wish to keep up a correspondence with 
the world, which Christian discipline could not long tolerate ; 
or they cannot bear to have their wounds probed to the bottom, 
that the balm of Gilead, the healing wine and oil of the gospel, 
may be applied by the divine Physician, ' and the blood of 
Jesus Christ the Son of God cleanse them from all sin,' 
1 John i, 7. 

" We have no doubt but meetings of Christian brethren for 
the exposition of Scripture texts may be attended with their 
advantages. But the most profitable exercise of any is a free 
inquiry into the state of the heart. We therefore confine these 
meetings to Christian experience, only adjoining singing and 
prayer in the introduction and conclusion. And we, praise the 
Lord they have been made a blessing to scores of thousands. 
And we must add, with gratitude to the Most High, that after 
an accurate attention to the point ourselves, and from the im- 
partial account of several of our oldest and most useful minis- 
ters in different parts of the globe, we have cause to believe, 
that out of those who have died members of our society, far the 
greatest part have entered into glory in the triumph of faith. 
In short, we can truly say, that through the grace of God oui 
classes form the pillars of our work, and, as we have before 
observed, are in a considerable degree our universities for the 
ministry." 

" SECTION III. 

" Of the Band Societies:' 

" Our society may be considered as a spiritual hospital, where 
souls come to be cured of their spiritual diseases. The mem- 
bers, therefore, who compose our class meetings vary exceed- 
ingly in the state of their minds and the degrees of their expe- 
rience. On this account it was thought necessary by our 
venerable leader, Mr. Wesley, to establish a society of evan- 
gelical believers within the society composed of the whole body 
of Methodists, to which he gave the name of the band society. 
This institution he borrowed from the practice of the primitive 
churches, as indeed he did almost every thing he established. 

" The heart of man by nature is such a cage of unclean birds 
that few are to be found who will lay before their brethren all 
its secret movements, unless the love of God be the ruling prin- 
ciple of their souls. And even then they are not called upon 
to exercise this confidence, except toward a small confidential 
company of true believers like themselves. When bands can 



Sec. 3.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 383 

be formed on this plan (and on no other do we form them) they 
become one of the most profitable means of grace in the whole 
compass of Christian discipline. There is nothing we know 
of which so much quickens the soul to a desire and expectation 
of the perfect love of God as this. It includes in it all the 
spiritual benefits of social intercourse. For these little families 
of love not only mutually weep and rejoice, and in every thing 
sympathize with each other, as genuine friends, but each of them 
possesses a measure of ' that unction of the Holy One,' (1 John 
ii, 20,) which teaches all spiritual knowledge. And thus are 
they enabled to ' build up themselves [and each other] on their 
most holy faith,' (Jude 20,) and to ' consider one another, to 
provoke unto love and good works,' Heb. x, 24. 

" The regularity and order which should be observed in 
every solemn meeting, requires that one of the band should be 
the leader, to open and close the ordinance with singing and 
prayer, though all may be here considered nearly upon an 
equality. Each must be at full liberty to follow the leader in 
prayer, whenever they kneel down together before God. 

" In large societies all the members of those little bands are 
to meet together once a week with the preacher, and to spend 
an hour in speaking their experience one after another, as in 
our love-feasts : and these meetings have been rendered a great 
blessing to many. 

" In very large societies there should be a quarterly love- 
feast for the bands, as well as for the whole society, (which 
always includes the members of the bands.) 

" Wherever also it is practicable, there should be formed a 
select society chosen out of the members of the bands. This 
should be composed of believers who enjoy the perfect love of 
God, or who are earnestly seeking that great blessing. In 
London, Bristol, &c, in Europe, and in New- York, &c, on 
this continent, these select societies have been very profitable. 
They also meet once a week for an hour, and the preacher pre- 
sides among them. Each member is at liberty to speak his or 
her experience, the preacher giving such advice respecting the 
grand point their souls are aiming at, as he sees expedient. 

" Thus does our economy, by its prudential ordinances, under 
the grace of God, tend to raise the members of our society 
from one degree of grace to another. And we have invariably 
observed, that where these meetings of the bands have been 
kept up in their life and power, the revival of the work of God 
has been manifest both in the addition of members to the society 
and in the deepening of the life of God in general. 

" We earnestly wish that our elders, deacons, and preachers 
be peculiarly attentive to these blessed ordinances in their 
respective spheres of action. They probably may find earnest 
believers in almost every circuit, who will be willing to meet 



384 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 2. 

in band, if properly advised and encouraged. And when many 
of these bands are formed, the other meetings may easily be 
established and regulated. And we believe hardly any thing 
will promote the general work more than this. 

" The propriety of separating the men and women in these 
bands must be evident to every one who considers the account 
here given of this means of grace. The separating of the 
married and single arises from the peculiar circumstances in 
which they are situated, and from the closer union which is 
likely to subsist between those who are circumstanced alike. 
Widowers or widows may have their choice of meeting either 
with the married or the single, unless a band can be formed of 
them alone respectively. 

" The social principle is one of the grand springs in the soul 
of man. It was not the design of Christianity to annihilate this 
principle, but the very contrary — to improve it, to spiritualize 
it, and strengthen it. O then let us exercise it in spiritual in- 
tercourse, as we well know that one part of our heavenly felicity 
will flow from friendship and union with our brethren, the re- 
deemed of the Lord, to all eternity ! Gal. vi, 2, ' Bear ye one 
another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.' 1 Cor. xii, 
26, 27, 'Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer 
with it : or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice 
with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in par- 
ticular.' Phil, ii, 1,2,' If there be therefore any consolation in 
Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, 
if any bowels and mercies : fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like- 
minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one 
mind.' We have perhaps one hundred thousand believers in 
our church throughout the world ; and if all were thus of one 
accord, ' walking by the same rule, minding the same thing,' 
(Phil, iii, 16,) what a glorious church should we make ; and 
God would hear our prayers, and look down upon us with the 
same delight, as if we were all assembled in the same room, or 
in the same temple. 

" Observe, here is nothing of auricular confession or priestly 
absolution : the whole is the fruit of holy confidence and Chris- 
tian love." 

" SECTION IV. 

" Of the Privileges granted to serious Persons who are not of 

the Society.'''' 

" It is manifestly our duty to fence in our society, and to pre- 
serve it from intruders ; otherwise we should soon become a 
desolate waste. God would write Ichabod upon us, and the 
glory would be departed from Israel. At the same time we 
should suffer those who are apparently sincere, if they request 



Sec. 5.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 385 

it, to see our order and discipline twice or thrice, that they 
themselves may judge whether it will be for their spiritual 
advantage to cast in their lot among us. But we should by 
no means exceed the indulgence here allowed ; otherwise we 
should make our valuable .meetings for Christian fellowship 
cheap and contemptible, and bring a heavy burden on the minds 
of our brethren. " 

" section v. 

" Of the Qualification and Duty of the Stewards of Circuits.'''' 

"In each large society there are generally two or four 
stewards of that particular society for the management of its 
temporal concerns. These are appointed, as well as the circuit 
stewards, by the preacher who has the charge of the circuit. 
He is himself to have as little as possible to do with temporal 
affairs, but has the appointment of the officers of the society 
invested in him, as being likely to be the best judge of the 
society at large, and of each member in particular. Neverthe- 
less, he is to advise with the quarterly meeting on the appoint- 
ment of circuit stewards, and with the leaders of each society 
respectively on the appointment of society steiuards." 

"section viii. 

" Of bringing to Trial, finding guilty, and reproving, suspend- 
ing, or excluding disorderly Persons from Society and Church 
Privileges. 

" The present section requires a very full explication ; not 
because Scripture and reason do not fully discover to us the 
truth on the present subject, but because many have objected to 
our Discipline in the instance before us. 

" The grand point to be determined is this : whether the final 
judgment of an offender in respect to both the guilt and the cen- 
sure should be invested in the minister or the people. We shall 
therefore take a view of this part of our economy, first, in the 
light of Scripture, and, secondly, in that of reason. 

" First, in the light of Scripture. Here we must confine our- 
selves of course to the New Testament, as living under the 
Christian dispensation. 1. The first scripture we shall consider 
is the declaration of our Saviour in Matt, xviii, 15-17, 'More- 
over, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him 
his fault between thee and him alone : if he shall hear thee, thou 
hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then 
take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three 
witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall 
neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church ; but if he neglect 



386 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 2. 

to hear the church, let him he unto thee as a heathen man and a 
publican.' These words were addressed to the apostles, and 
through them to all the ministers of Christ to the end of the 
world. This is evident from the words immediately following 
the quotation, and which are a continuation of the same para- 
graph, and could not belong to the private members of a church. 

" The first step then which is to be taken, is to tell the offender 
ot his fault in private without any witness. Here is the secret 
reproof of the minister himself. But if he will not hear and 
amend, the second step is, that the minister take with him two 
or three witnesses. Here is the reproof of the minister before 
witnesses. ' And if he shall neglect to hear them,' shall these 
two or three witnesses proceed to exclude him % No : they have 
no such authority : but ' tell it unto the church.' This is the 
third step. Has the church then any authority to punish him 1 No : 
their whole authority lies in advising and reproving him. ' But 
if,' after such advice and reproof, ' he neglect to hear the church, 
let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.'' Can 
any one imagine that the minister only is to treat the offender 
thus ; and that the rest of the church are to give him the right hand 
of fellowship ] This cannot be. The minister is undoubtedly to 
exclude him from the communion of the church. This is the 
last step. Then follow immediately those words of our Lord, 
' Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven : 
and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven :' 
which words, as we before observed, confine the power to 
ministers, whose church censures, as far as they are consistent 
with the word of God, (for we cannot suppose the authority goes 
further,) shall be confirmed and supported in heaven : and the 
faithful ministers of God, who have been more or less invested 
with the superintendency of the church, have found this promise 
verified. The latter words cannot be supposed to relate to an 
external exclusion from glory, for that would preclude the neces- 
sity of the day of judgment in respect to those so excommunicated. 
But we repeat, here is not a word said of the church's authority 
either to judge or to censure. On the contrary, the whole au- 
thority is expressly delivered into the hands of the minister. 

" But we may add, that this passage speaks of offences which 
have not yet brought a public disgrace on the church of God. 
The church or society of which the offender is a member is not 
even supposed to be generally acquainted with the fault till after 
the failure of the first and second attempt for his reformation. 
Surely, if the offence be of a scandalous nature, and has already 
disgraced the cause of God by its public notoriety, the offender 
ought to be xmme.dia.tely removed, after clear conviction, for the 
honour of God and his cause : much more so still, if the offender 
has been found guilty of some gross crime. For could any one 
think of having communion with a murderer, adulterer, or thief. 



Sec. 8.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 3g7 

even for a moment, though the crime was not known to any but the 
offender and himself : and so we may observe of many other crimes. 

" But it may be urged that the offeiffce must be first mentioned 
to the church, before the offender can be scripturally excluded. 
' Tell it to the church,' says our Lord. And so we do. It is 
merely for the sake of convenience, that in large societies we tell 
it only to a committee or representation of the society, or do 
abundantly more, even make them the witnesses of the whole 
trial. But if such societies were to desire it, we would tell the 
whole unto the church at large. But still we must declare, from 
the plain sense of the word of God, that our Lord invests the 
minister with the whole authority both of judgment and censure. 

" 2. Another scripture worthy of consideration on this subject 
is 1 Cor. v, 1-5, ' It is reported commonly that there is for- 
nication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as 
named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's 
wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that 
he that hath done this deed, might be taken away from among 
you. For I verily as absent in body, but present in spirit, have 
judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that 
hath so done this deed : in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one unto Satan for 
the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day 
of our Lord Jesus.' It is evident, beyond the possibility of a 
doubt, that the apostle, being fully persuaded of the truth of the 
fact, took upon himself the whole business of deciding on the 
guilt and punishment of the incestuous Corinthian. '/, as pre- 
sent in spirit," 1 says he, ' have judged already.' He here acts 
as their chief minister, and requires them to consider his spirit 
present with them, as he could not be so personally. They 
were not to meet, in order to consult whether the offender should 
be put away or not, but merely to put him from among them, 
because the apostle was absent. 

" It may here be asked, Why did not the chief resident minis- 
ter of the church of Corinth put away the incestuous person, if 
he possessed the authority ? We answer, Because he was un- 
faithful. He connived at this enormous 1 crime, either because 
he did not love the cause of holiness, which is the cause of God, 
or because he gave way to the evil solicitations of the people. 
This is evident from those words in the passage before us, ' Ye 
are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath 
done this deed, might be taken away from amongyou.' He does 
not say, Ye have not mourned that you did not put away this 
great offender, but ' that he might be taken away from among you.' 
But as the person who had the immediate authority did not take 
the offender aioay from among them, St. Paul, as the apostle of 
the Gentiles, steps in to the minister's place, and cuts him off. 



388 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. % 

" It might also be urged, that it was an apostle who thus acted : 
and we should be ready to admit this as an exempt case, if it 
were not agreeable to the authority given by Christ himself to 
his ministers — an authority, the due exercise of which by his 
ministers our Lord highly approves of, and the neglect of which 
he strongly condemns, as we shall now proceed to show. 

" 3. Rev. ii, 1, 2, ' Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus 
write, These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his 
right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candle- 
sticks ; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and 
how thou canst not bear them which are evil.'' With what high 
approbation does our Lord here express himself concerning the de- 
termined opposition of the chief minister of the church of Ephesus 
to all immoral professors ! ' Thou canst not bear them which are 
evil.' But if this minister had only a single vote against immoral 
practices in the church, or was only chairman in the meetings of 
the church, to examine into the conduct of offenders or supposed 
offenders, is it likely that our Lord would have given so high an 
encomium, so strong a commendation of the conduct of the mi- 
nister in this respect % Would he not at least have said some- 
thing in commendation of the church itself, without whom in this 
instance, if the power of censure lay in them, the minister would 
De almost a cipher \ For the minister, in such case, would have 
little to do in the business, unless as a complainant or informer. 
Besides, our Lord adds in the second verse, ' And thou hast tried 
them which say they are apostles, and are not ; and hast found 
them liars.' And again, verse 6, ' But this thou hast, that thou 
hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.' From 
the whole pf which it appears, that the minister was the sole 
judge both of the morals and doctrines of the church which he 
superintended, the church not being at all mentioned by our Lord 
as having any authority in these matters. 

" 4. Rev. ii, 12-15, ' And to the angel of the church in Per- 
gamos write, These things saith he which hath the sharp 
sword with two edges ; — I have a few things against thee, because 
thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who 
taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of 
Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornica- 
tion. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nico- 
laitans, which thing I hate.' But why should our Lord cast all 
this blame on the minister alone, without taking the least notice 
of the church, if the power of censure rested in the church, and 
not in the minister ; or no further in the minister, than as having 
a single vote in the church ? Is it, we must repeat, at all proba- 
ble, is it morally possible, that our Lord would have written thus 
to the angel of the church, if that angel, or chief minister, had not 
possessed authority to cleanse it from the followers of the doc- 
trine of Balaam, and of the Nicolaitans \ 



Sec. 8.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 389 

" 5. Rev. ii, 18-20, ' And unto the angel of the church in Thy- 
atira write, These things saith the Son of God, who hath 
his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass ; 
— I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that 
woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and 
to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things 
sacrificed unto idols.' But how could he possibly avoid suffering 
her to remain in the church, if the church possessed the power 
of censure and excommunication, and was determined to keep 
her in 1 Or, how could he possibly have prevented her being 
turned out, if the church had in it the power of expulsion, and 
had expelled her 1 

" We may here just observe that most of the churches of Asia 
Minor, mentioned in the second and third chapters of the Revela- 
tion, if not all of them, were founded by St. Paul. 

" 6. We shall instance in only two more portions of the word 
of God on this subject. (1.) Heb. xiii, 7, ' Remember them 
which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word 
of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conver- 
sation.' And (2.) Verse 17, ' Obey them thai have the rule over 
you, and submit yourselves : for they watch for your souls, as 
they that must give account : that they may do it with joy, and 
not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.' Observe, [1.] The 
persons here described as having the rule, and a right to obedience 
and submission, were persons who had spoken the word of God to 
the people, and watched over their souls, and consequently were 
their preachers and pastors. But, [2.] To suppose that they 
ruled in the church, and had a claim to obedience and submission, 
and yet had not the authority of cleansing the church from im- 
moral and heretical persons, would be exceedingly absurd. 
These last-quoted texts are collateral and inferential proofs, the 
former are expressly so. . 

" 2dly. Let us consider the subject in the light of reason. 1. Is 
there any propriety in constituting a husband the judge of the 
guilt or innocence of his wife, or the wife of her husband ; the 
parent of his child, or the child of his parent ; the brother of his 
sister, or the sister of her brother, &c.1 Would not natural af- 
fection almost unavoidably move them in such cases to be partial 
to each other 1 Might not resentment move a master to be par- 
tial in his judgment against his servant 1 Might not fear, on the 
contrary, influence the servant in favour of his master 1 A long 
acquaintance also, perhaps even from childhood, has a powerful 
effect upon the minds of men, and would strongly tempt them to 
cover sin, to the destruction, not intentionally but eventually, 
of the work of God. The intermixture of temporal interests- 
would also be a strong motive to induce many to make large al- 
lowances for the offender. ' My income is small, and my family 
large : such a one is my customer, and also many of his rela- 



390 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 2. 

tions ; and shall I vote against him to the injury of my family % 
Perhaps he may repent, and be better in future. Such a one has 
obliged me in various respects, and shall I be so ungrateful as to 
condemn him wholly V Those who are acquainted with the 
operations of the human mind, must be very sensible how often 
these reasonings would warp the minds of the judges, and pro- 
duce a partiality in their decisions, which would be ruinous in the 
last degree to the work of God. Additionally to all this, we must 
recollect that different countries, and different parts of the same 
country, are addicted to particular vices : and those are but lit- 
tle acquainted with human nature who do not know that men are 
strongly tempted to cover those sins which they themselves are 
inwardly inclined to, or which it is their interest to commit. For 
instance, in a part of the country where the maple-tree grows 
abundantly, and there are various manufactures of sugar, would 
not the church be strongly inclined to make large allowances for 
those who jwould labour in their sugar-camps on the Lord's day 1 
Let those answer who are acquainted with the nature of that 
manufacture. Again, in that part of the country where the buy- 
ing the souls and bodies of men is a common practice, would not 
many in the church be tempted to favour those who were guilty 
of that practice, because they themselves might be the next to fall 
into the snare 1 Yea, we have had proofs of this — of private 
members of the church, who have attempted to assume the power, 
not only of judging or rather clearing the offender, but of judg- 
ing the law itself ! 

" To give therefore the authority of judging and censuring 
offenders to the private members of a church, would be to form 
a court which in innumerable instances would have the strongest 
temptations to partiality. We do not mention this to show the 
least disrespect to the private members of our society : on the 
contrary, many of them may exceed us in piety and every grace. 
But it is contrary to all the rules of justice to appoint those to be 
judges who may in so many instances be strongly tempted to be 
partial. At the same time we must observe, that the word op 
God is that which we principally stand upon, knowing well that 
every passage in the New Testament which relates to the pre- 
sent subject is wholly on our side. 

" 2. Our original design in forming our religious society renders 
the existence of this authority in our ministers absolutely necessary. 
But what was this design 1 To raise a holy people. Our plan of 
economy shuts us up from the influence of any other motive in 
respect to our ministerial labours. It is impossible for us to enrich 
ourselves by Methodist preaching. Again, we bear a constant 
testimony against the pleasures of the world, and therefore should 
be esteemed, even by our own people, as the greatest of hypocrites, 
if we indulged ourselves in them, and would soon be excluded the 
connection by the various means of trial to which all of us are 



Sec. 8.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 391 

subject. And as to honour, we are almost the only despised peo- 
ple in Christendom, as a religious body. The secondary rank of 
mankind and the poor are the only persons (with a few exceptions) 
who receive the gospel. The rich and great in general, even 
those who have not embraced the favourite doctrines of the times, 
will not submit to the way of the cross, but, on the contrary, look 
down on the preachers of it as the greatest enthusiasts. And shall 
we thus sacrifice all that the world holds dearand at the same time 
lose the only aim of all our public labours, by false complai- 
sance 1 No. We will have a holy people, or none. In every part 
of our economy, as well as doctrine, we aim at crucifixion to the 
world and love to God. This must be the price of our labours. 
We require not riches, honours, or pleasure, but a holy people. 
We have a right to dispose of our labours as we please, as 
far as they respect our fellow-creatures : and we will not bestow 
them on any other condition. If we labour in any place a suffi- 
cient time for a trial, and are not able to raise a people devoted 
to God, we will leave it : we have a right so to do, and none have 
just ground of complaint. Again, if we have encouragement from 
any people, but they afterward deceive us, and return to the 
world ' like the dog to his vomit,' (2 Pet. ii, 22,) they have broken 
the condition on which we labour among them ; we have nothing 
more to do with them ; and if we continue in that place, it is for 
the sake of others, and not of them. But, blessed be God, if we 
meet sometimes with discouragements in this respect, they are 
amply compensated by the increase of vital godliness. We love 
our people ; and they in general amply repay our labours by their 
holy conversation. They are the joy of our hearts, and will, we 
trust, be our crown of rejoicing on the great day. But still we 
must observe, that our immovable support, on which we rest our 
sentiments upon this subject, is the word of God. And we 
may add, that the present point has been seldom disputed, as far 
as we know, by any, except those who have been disaffected to 
us, or have openly separated from us. 

" An appeal is allowed, in all the cases mentioned in this sec- 
tion, to the following quarterly meeting. For though the power 
of appeal be not mentioned in the last clause, which relates to the 
sowing of dissensions, yet it certainly is implied. Our work is at 
present in its infancy in comparison to what, we trust, it will be 
through the blessing of God. Our ministers who have the 
charge of circuits may not be always so aged and experienced as 
we might wish them to be ; the appeal to the quarterly meeting 
is therefore allowed to remedy this defect. And this no one can 
object to. No one, we think, can imagine, that the members of 
a class, or the members of the largest society, would form so re- 
spectable or so impartial a court of judicature as the presiding elder, 
the travelling and local preachers, and the leaders and stewards 
of the whole circuit. But the point is quite out of the reach of 



392 Notes on the Discipline, [Ch. 3 

debate in respect to those who believe the sacred writings, and 
sincerely reverence them. The New Testament determines, be- 
yond a doubt, that judgment and censure in the cases before us 
shall be in the minister : nor could we justify our conduct in in- 
vesting the quarterly meeting with the authority of receiving and 
determining appeals, if it were not almost entirely composed of 
men who are more or less engaged in the ministry of the word, 
the stewards being the only exceptions. 

" We shall now just add some portions of sacred writ, in rela- 
tion to the immoralities which are referred to in this section, 
that our ministers who have the oversight of circuits may have 
them under their eye." 



" SECTION X. 

" Of the Sale and Use of Spirituous Liquors. 11 

" Far be it from us to wish or endeavour to intrude upon the 
proper religious or civil liberty of any of our people. But the 
retailing of spirituous liquors, and giving drams to customers, 
when they call at the stores, are such prevalent customs at 
present, and are productive of so many evils, that we judge it 
our indispensable duty to form a regulation against them. The 
cause of God, which we prefer to every other consideration un- 
der heaven, absolutely requires us to step forth with humble 
boldness in this respect." 



"CHAPTER III. 

" SECTION I. 

" Of building Churches, and the Order to be observed therein. 11 

" ' The sitting of men and women apart' was the universal 
practice in the primitive church. A general mixture of the sexes 
in places of divine worship is obviously improper. 

" In respect to the deed of settlement, we would observe, that 
the union of the Methodist society, through the states, requires 
one general deed, for the settlement of our preaching houses and 
the premises belonging thereto. In the above plan of settlement 
we have given to the trustees an authority and security they 
never possessed by virtue of our former deeds, namely, the power 
of mortgaging or selling the premises in the cases and manner 
above mentioned. By which we manifest to the whole world, 
that the property of the preaching houses will not be invested in 
the General Conference. But the preservation of our union and 
the progress of the work of God indispensably require, that the 



Sec. 2.] By Bishops Coke and Asbury. 393 

free and full use of the pulpits should be in the hands of the Ge- 
neral Conference, and the yearly conferences authorized by them. 
Of course, the travelling preachers, who are in full connection, 
assembled in their conferences, are the patrons of the pulpits of 
oui churches. And this was absolutely necessary to give a clear, 
legal specification in the deed. If the local preachers, stewards, 
and leaders (who have an undoubted right to preach, meet their 
classes, &c, in the preaching houses at due time, according to the 
Form of Discipline) were specified, it would be necessary to add 
a description of their orders ; which would throw such obscurity 
upon the whole, that a court of justice would either reject the 
deed, or be at a loss to determine concerning the little peculiari- 
ties of our Form of Discipline. But we do hereby publicly de- 
clare, that we have no design of limiting, in the least degree, 
the privileges of any of the public offers of our society, but by 
this deed solely intend to preserve ine property of our church 
by such a clear, simple specification, as shall be fully and easily 
cognizable by the laws." 

" SECTION II. 

*' Of the Printing of Boohs, and the Application of the Profits 
arising therefrom." 

" The propagation of religious knowledge, by means of the 
press, is next in importance to the preaching of the gospel. 
To supply the people, therefore, with the most pious and useful 
books, in order that they may fill up their leisure hours in the 
most profitable ways, is an object worthy of the deepest atten- 
tion of their pastors. On this account we are determined to 
move in the most cautious manner in respect to our publications. 
We have a great esteem for our general book steward, and are 
much obliged to him for his fidelity and usefulness in his import- 
ant office : but we shall in future submit our publications to the 
judgment of no single person. The books of infidelity and pro. 
faneness with which the states at present abound, demand our 
strongest exertions to counteract their pernicious influence : and 
every step shall be taken, which is consistent with our finances, 
to furnish our friends, from time to time, with the most useful 
treatises on every branch of religious knowledge. And the con- 
sideration that all the profits shall be lodged in our chartered 
fund for the benefit of the distressed preachers, both travelling 
and superannuated, will, we trust, prove a considerable additiona 1 
inducement to our brethren to purchase our books." 



INDEX 



Alabama Conference, boundaries of, 237, 243, 246. 

Annual Conference, (see Conference.) 

Antinomianism, 77. 

Apostolic succession, 336. 

Appeal, right of, 113. 

Arbitrations, (see Members,) 148. 

Arkansas Conference, boundaries of, 239, 243, 245, 255. 

Articles of Religion, 80, 83, 84, 95-110, 112, 172. 

Asbury, Francis, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 81, 83, 335. 

Assistant, duties of, 11, 16, 17, 19, 20, 54, 76, 126. 

General, (see Mr. Wesley, Superintendent, Bishop,) 11, 
13, 21, 119. 

Baltimore Conference, boundaries of, 227, 228, 229, 232, 234, 237. 

powers of, 79. 
Bands, 36, 56, 84, 147, 199, 382. 

original rules of, 200. 
Baptism, 189, 216. 

mode of, 45, 189, 220, 376. 
a second, 45. 
Bible classes, 158. 
Society, 139. 

agents for the American, 123. 
Bishops, (see Mr. Wesley, General Assistant, Superintendent,) first 
use of the title, 82, 118. 
Address of the, 83, 88. 
Notes to the Discipline by the, 85, 304, 335. 
ordination of, 38, 120, 225. 

powers of, 114, 115, 118, 228, 230, 232, 235, 300, 301, 341. 
allowance of, 119, 263, 272, 282, 283. 
election of, 120, 121. 

duties of, 38, 119, 120, 121, 122, 283, 284, 285. 
trial of, 38, 120, 121, 122, 344. 
provision in case of vacancy in the office, 39, 120. 
American, compared with Mr. Wesley, 341, 346. 
Black River Conference, boundaries of, 238, 241, 244, 247, 251. 
Books, circulation of, 144, 145, 153, 298, 304, 361, 393. 

publication of, by traveling preachers, 306, 308, 367. 

by editors, agents, or clerks of Book Concern, 
313. 



396 Index. 

Book Agents, 122, 298, 306, 310. 

allowance of, 298, 314. 
from whom chosen, 306, 315. 
powers of, 299, 302, 305, 313, 315, 318, 319. 
term of office, 306, 311. 
at Cincinnati, 307, 322. 
Committee, 299, 301, 302, 308, 310, 313, 318, 320, 321, 323, 325. 
Concern, 113, 279, 302, 304, 305, 309, 314. 

publications of, by whom selected, 298, 299, 301, 

302, 305, 307, 310, 314, 315. 
seat of, 304, 309. 
profits of, 298, 300, 304, 305. 
annual exhibit of, 308, 310. 
commission system abolished, 308. 
Bribery, 38. 
Burial of the dead, order of, 223. 

Call to preach, evidences of, 62, 152, 364. 

Calvinism, 76. 

Canada Conference, boundaries of, 233. 

Catechisms, 158. 

Charleston, S. C, paper at, 313. 

depository at, 316. 
Chartered Fund, 85, 113, 279, 294, 296, 379. 
Children, instruction of, (see Education,) 13, 34, 51, 64, 155, 371. 
Christian Advocate and Journal, editor of, 308, 311. 
Christian Advocate, Western, 313. 
Southern, 313. 
Richmond, 313. 
South Western, 313. 
Pittsburgh, 316. 
Northern, 323, 324. 
. Northwestern, 323, 324. 
Central, 323, 324. 
California, 323, 324. 
Pacific, 323, 324. 
Missionary, 323, 324. 
Sunday-School, 323, 324. 
Church of England, condition of, 93, 94. 

connection of Methodists with, 10, 13, 14, 15, 
16, 22, 55, 57. 
Churches, 11, 13, 20, 69. 

building of, 76, 139, 263. 
deed for, 70, 265. 
property of, 342, 392. 
order in, 71, 72. 
Cincinnati, book establishment at, 312, 315, 365. 
Class leaders, 29, 358, 380. 

duties of, 177. 
Class meetings, 133, 150, 177, 181, 327, 380, 381. 

neglect of, 59, 199. 
Cleanliness, 56, 72, 147. 



Index. 397 

Coke, Dr., 23. 

and Bishop Asbury's Notes, 335. 
Cokesbury College, plan of education in, 163. 
students of, 163. 
objects of, 163. 
officers of, 163. 
studies in, 164. 
tuition fees, 166. 
rules and regulations of, 166. 
collection for, 276. 
appropriation to, 298, 299. 
Collections, 276. 

conference, 21. 
class, 139, 145, 148. 
quarterly, 145, 148. 
College, (see Cokesbury.) 
Colored people, 16, 42, 327, 332. 
Conferences, 114. 

mode of spending time at, 26, 340. 
origin of, 47. 
General, 337. 

the -first, 25. • 

delegated, 111. 
members of, 111, 112. 
time of meeting, 111, 112. 
quorum in, 112. 
president of, 112. 
powers of, 112, 347. 

limitations and restrictions of, 112, 113. 
expenses of delegates to, 280. 
District (of traveling preachers,) 110, 119. 

(of local preachers,) 310. 
Annual, 110, 114, 337. 

members of, 115, 337. 
time of, 115, 340. 
place of, 115, 340. 
order of business in, 64, 116. 
boundaries of, 119, 227. 
duties of, 265. 

powers of, 269, 279, 300, 370. 
journal of, 119. 
Quarterly, 132, 133, 157, 180, 181, 269, 281, 283, 289. 
Credentials, restoring (to traveling preachers,) 189. 
(to local preachers,) 174, 188. 

Deacon, office of, 39, 41, 135, 136. 

constituting of, 136, 353. 

probation of, 135, 136, 353. 

form of ordination, 224. 
Debts, non-payment of, how treated, 150. 
Depositories of books, 311, 314, 316, 324. 
Dickins, Rev. John, participation in arranging Discipline, 81. 
26 



39S Index. 

Discipline of the Methodist Societies prior to the organization of 
the M. E. Church, 9. 
the first, 25-79. 

mode of altering, prior to 1792, 79. 
division of, 85, 119. 
title of, 87. 
Discipline, modifications of, in 
173.8. 200. 

1743. 193,196,197. 

1744. 201. 

1773. 10,115. 

1774. 11, 115. 

1775. 11. 
1777. 12. 
177§. 12. 

1779. 12, 115. 

1780. 13,115. 

1781. 16. 

1782. 18,115. 

1783. 19, 115. 

1784. 20-80, 87, 95, 115, 119, 129, 133, 136, 137, 

139, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 148, 

151, 158, 198, 209, 216, 218, 221, 222, 
223, 224, 225, 226, 244. 

1785. 80, 327. 

1786. 80, 87, 109, 125, 138, 139, 189, 215, 218, 

220 222 224 

1787. 81, 118, 156, 272, 274, 298, 327. 

1788. 83. 

1789. 83, 88, 93, 109, 115, 120, 125, 130, 133, 

134, 135, 138, 139, 147, 148, 149, 151, 

152, 153, 154, 157, 170, 171, 172, 176, 
178, 189, 196, 198, 199, 203, 204, 205, 
244, 246, 271, 272, 273, 276, 277, 279, 317. 

1790. 84, 88, 90, 95, 109. 

1791. 84, 91, 95, 109. 

1792. 84, 91, 94, 95, 109, 111, 114, 116, 118, 121, 

126, 129, 130, 133, 134, 135, 137, 138, 

139, 140, 141, 144, 145, 155, 169, 170, 

171, 172, 174, 175, 177, 183, 189, 200, 

204, 207, 209, 211, 212, 213, 215, 218, 

220, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 263, 271, 
273 298 

1796. 84, 91, 109, 111, 114, 118, 130, 149, 150, 

155, 156, 179, 183, 186, 204, 227, 265, 

273, 294, 300, 326, 328. 

1800. 85, 111, 116, 119, 150, 153, 185, 204, 
207, 228, 263, 276, 280, 296, 302, 327, 
329 

1804. 85, 109, 111, 114, 117, 119, 122, 127, 129, 
132, 135, 142, 153, 184, 191, 203, 228, 

274, 279, 297, 304, 327, 330. 



Index. 399 

Discipline, modifications of, in, 

1§©§. $5, 109, 111, 149, 184, 197, 203, 208, 220, 

227, 279, 306, 331. 
1812. 86, 92, 109, 117, 144, 184, 185, 187, 229, 

269, 280, 297, 331. 
1816. 86, 110. 113, 139, 151, 173, 180, 184, 187, 

2< ... 230, 274, 280, 281,306, 331. 
1820. 110, 126, 143, 176, 180, 185, 187, 231, 263, 

269, 272, 307. 
1824. 110, 156, 181, 185, 188, 191, 233, 274, 280, 

282, 284, 306, 331. 
1828. 123, 126, 156, 182, 208, 235, 269, 274, 282, 

284, 308. 
1832. 86, 113, 117, 127, 133, 136, 145, 150, 275, 

282, 309. 
1836. 113, 123, 142, 145, 157, 172, 174, 177, 182, 

185, 188, 198, 199, 204, 205, 220, 238, 

275 283 286 311 
1840. 86, 92', 117,123, 128, 133, 145, 157, 172, 

189, 198, 241, 287, 314. 
1844. 118, 128, 133, 139, 159, 183, 244, 264, 283, 

288 317 
1848. 118, 120, 128, 133, 143, 146, 154, 159, 174, 

185, 189, 191, 197, 208, 223, 246, 275, 

290, 297, 321, 332. 
1852. 118, 120, 134, 136, 152, 159, 183, 218, 283, 

322. 
1856. 120, 122, 128, 143, 156, 161, 176, 177, 192, 

205, 250, 291, 324, 332. 
Dress, 21, 36, 147, 201, 204, 205. 

Editors, 127, 128, 309, 311, 314. 
term of office, 305, 309. 
Education, (see Children,) 51, 73, 92, 127, 128, 300. 

plan of, in Cokesbury College, 163. 
Elders, the first, of the M. E. C, 24. 
office of, 39, 125, 129. 
election of, 125, 129. 
form of ordination, 225. 
presiding, term of office, 122, 129. 

origin of the office, 129, 347. 
by whom chosen, 131, 132. 
duties of, 131, 132, 133, 281, 301, 302, 307, 309. 
allowance of, 132, 133, 282, 283. 
powers of, 133, 270, 349, 351. 
advantages of the office, 349. 
Elections, treats at, 155. 
Episcopacy, 336, 346. 

itinerant general, 112. 
Erie Conference, boundaries of, 238, 242. 
Evil speaking, 37. 
Exhorters, 12, 14, 135, 151, 364. 



400 Index. 

Fasting, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 51, 6], 64, 68, 151, 176, 202, 363. 

Fees, 45, 190, 272. 
Festivals, preaching on, 368. 
Forms, 80, 85, 86, 191, 209. 
Frauds, investigation of, 150. 
Fugue tunes, 191, 378. 
Funeral sermons, 12, 

General Conference, (see Conference.) 

Genesee Conference, boundaries of, 230, 231, 232, 233, 239, 241, 244. 

Georgia, exception in favor of slaveholders in, 331. 

Conference, boundaries of, 227. 
German publications, 315. 

Helpers, 12, 39, 41, 62, 138. 

following trades, 49. 

mode of receiving, 63. 
Holston Conference, boundaries of, 234, 237, 240, 243. 
Hymn Book, 24, 81. 

Illinois Conference, boundaries of, 234, 237, 239, 242. 

Indiana Conference, boundaries of, 237, 239, 242. 

Insolvencies, 38, 149. 

Itinerancy, 39, 42, 120, 122, 127, 128, 131, 132, 337, 343, 346, 353. 

Kentucky Conference, boundaries of, 231, 234, 235. 
King's, Lord, Primitive Church, 23. 
Kingswood school, 173. 

Large Minutes, 25-195. 

Lay delegation, 337. 

Liberia Mission Annual Conference, 241. 

Liturgy, (see Sunday service,) 24, 41, 134. 

Local preachers, (see Preachers.) 

Locating travelling preacher without his consent, 174. 

Lord's Prayer, mode of repeating, 53. 

use of, 192. 
Supper, 60, 191, 209. 

posture of communicants, 44, 191, 337. 

terms of admission to, 45, 191, 377. 
Love-feast, 143, 145, 147. 

tickets, 143, 358. 

Magazine, Methodist, 301. 

Maine Conference, boundaries of, 233. 

Marriage, 37, 203. 

Matrimony, form of solemnizing, 221. 

Members, probation of, 17, 35, 198, 206. 

admission of, 198, 358. 

trial of, 113, 137, 198, 385. 

appeal of, 113, 207, 391. 

disputes among, 17, 58, 148. 



Index. 401 

Membership, condition of, 194. 

certificates of, 19, 56, 147, 363. 
Memphis Conference, boundaries of, 243. 
Methodist Societies, origin of, 46, 193. 

Episcopal Church, organization of, 22, 27, 93, 336. 
origin of, 92, 335. 
Methodists, design of, 27. 

rise of, 27, 90. 

deficiencies of, 30. 
Michigan Conference, boundaries of, 239, 242. 
Military posts, chaplains to, 128. 
Ministers, office of, 141. 
Minutes, printing of, 42, 138. 

General, (see Discipline.) 
Missions, 86, 145, 148, 282, 298, 354. 
Mission committee, 284, 286. 
Missionary Societies, 284. 

treasurer, 285. 

secretaries, 287. 
Missionaries, 123, 136. 

Mississippi Conference, boundaries of, 227, 230, 232, 234, 237, 240. 
Missouri Conference, boundaries of, 223, 230, 231, 234, 237, 239. 
Mixing of men and women in church, 72, 265, 392. 

Nervous disorders, causes of, 48. 

remedy for, 48. 
New-England Conference, boundaries of, 227, 228, 230, 231, 233, 

236, 241. 
New-Hampshire Conference, boundaries of, 236. 
New-Jersey Conference, 241, 244. 
New-Orleans, preachers in, 123. 

book depository at, 311. 
New- York Conference, powers of, 286, 305, 306, 310. 

boundaries of, 228, 229, 230, 231, 233, 236, 
238, 241. 
North Carolina, exception in favor of slaveholders in, 331. 

Conference, boundaries of, 240. 
North Ohio Conference, boundaries of, 242. 
Notes to the Discipline, 85, 304, 335. 
Numbers in Society, 144, 362. 

Obedience to superiors in office, 355. 

Ohio Conference, boundaries of, 229, 230, 231, 233, 236, 239, 242. 

powers of, 307, 315. 
Oneida Conference, boundaries of, 236, 238. 
Ordination, forms of, 224. 

power of bishops over, 345. 

Pastoral duties, 30, 50, 63, 149, 153, 370. 
People, their part in making preachers, 355. 
Perfection, 68, 383. 
Periodicals, 147, 301, 308, 309, 316. 



402 Index. 

Pews, 264, 270. 

Philadelphia Conference, powers of, 297, 300, 301, 302, 304. 

boundaries of, 227, 228, 229, 231, 282, 
238, 240. 
Pittsburgh, paper at, 316. 

depository at, 316. 

Conference, boundaries of, 233, 236, 238, 242. 
Prayer, 60, 156, 202. 
Prayer meetings, 68, 151, 178, 363. 
Preacher in charge, (see Assistant Deacon.) 

duties of, 143, 157, 270, 301, 302, 357. 
Preachers, traveling, (see Helpers.) 

slaveholding by, 14, 15, 22, 329. 
trial of, 18, 20, 59, 113, 170, 372. 
for crime, 171, 372. 
for improper tempers, words, or 

actions, 172, 374. 
for disseminating false doctrine, 172, 
375 
appeal of, 113,' 174, 375. 
interchange of, 11. 
allowance of, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 42, 

272, 282, 294, 299, 357. 
licensing of, 14, 18, 42. 
duties of, 13, 14, 156, 158, 281, 354, 368. 
probation of, 13, 16, 64, 143, 144. 
receiving on trial, 138, 141. 
receiving into full connection, 64, 143. 
examination of character, 340. 
following trades, 49. 

method of employing time, 48, 49, 60, 169. 
power of, 355. 
studies of, 50, 139, 372. 
union among, 62, 170. 
houses for, 280, 282. 
supernumerary, 126. 

who, 65, 116. 

provision for, 65, (see allowance of 

travelling preachers.) 
neglecting their work, 117. 
superannuated, 122. 

provision for, 65, 117, 277. (See allow- 
ance of travelling preachers.) 
trial of, 172, 294. 
local, 12, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 65, 85, 140, 151, 178, 364. 
licensing of, 179. 
election to deacon's orders, 182. 
election to elder's orders, 183. 
to meet in class, 184. 

to be enrolled on the journal of quarterly conf., 184. 
trial of, 185, 375. 
appeal of, 113, 187, 375. 



Index. 403 

Preachers, coloured, 332. 

of other denominations, reception of, 131. 

examinations of, 355. 

how made, 355. 
Preaching, places for, 27, 28, 154. 

mode of, 52, 53, 153, 364 
■ field, 28. 

morning, 40, 134. 

evening, 39. 
Printing books, 10. 
Prisons, chaplains to, 123. 

Privileges of those who are not members of society, 10, 29, 203, 384. 
of members of society with reference to other churches, 45. 
Providence Conference, boundaries of, 241. 
Punctuality, 354, 366. 

Quarterly Conference, (see Conference.) 

meeting, (see Conference, Quarterly,) 15, 143, 199. 

Religion, means of promoting, 18, 28, 67, 69, 74, 178, 276. 
Representation in General Conference, ratio of, 112, 113. 
Rock River Conference, boundaries of, 242. 
Rules, General, 113, 145, 379. 

reading of, 57. 

original form of, 193. 

Sabbath breaking, 37. 

Sacraments, administration of, forbidden to preachers in America 

prior to organization of M. E. C, 10. 
Sacramental services, 209. 
Scriptures, 60, 202, 370, 377. 
Seamen, preachers to, 123. 
Sick, communion of the, 222. 
Singing, 21, 53, 192, 378. 

Slavery, 15, 19, 21, 22, 43, 44, 80, 85, 185, 197, 327, 331, 380. 
Slaves, holding, by members, 15, 43, 328. 

by local preachers, 19, 21, 185. 
by travelling preachers, 14, 22, 329. 
buying or selling, 21, 44, 328, 330, 331. 

' general rule on, 197, 380. 
duties of, 331. 
Smuggling, 38. 
South Carolina, exception in favour of slaveholders in, 331. 

Conference, boundaries of, 228, 229, 234, 237, 240. 
Spirituous liquors, manufacture of, 15, 19, 185. 

% sale of, 19, 85, 86, 185, 208, 392. 

use of, 19, 36, 37, 56, 63, 201, 208, 392. 

after preaching, 54. 
general rule respecting, 197. 
Stationary power, 342. 
Stewards, origin of the office, 46. 
duties of, 270, 282. 



404 Index. 

Stewards, appointment of, 148, 270, 358, 385. 

supervision of, 150, 271, 362. 
Sunday service, (see Liturgy,) 24, 80. 
Sunday schools, 127, 145, 156, 371. 

agents for, 126, 158. 

Sunday-School Union, 157. 
Superannuated pre.achers, (see Preachers.) 
Supernumerary preachers, (see Preachers.) 
Superintendents, (see Bishops.) 

the first, of M. E. C, 23, 94. 

Talking in Church, 72, 265. 

Tennessee, exception in favour of slaveholders in, 331. 

Conference, boundaries of, 229, 230, 232, 233, 235, 241. 
Texas Conference, boundaries of, 241. 
Thanksgiving, 20. 
Tobacco, use of, 36, 63, 201, 202. 
Tracts, doctrinal, 83, 84, 85, 86, 92. 

distribution of, 133, 144. 
Travelling preachers, (see Preachers.) 
Troy Conference, boundaries of, 236, 238, 241. 
Trustees of Churches, &c, 244, 269, 342, 392. 

Vacancy on circuit, mode of supplying, 59. 

Vasey, Thomas, 24. 

Virginia, exception in favour of slaveholders in, 44. 

Conference, boundaries of, 227, 228, 229, 234, 339. 

Watch-nights, 144. 

Wesley's, Mr., authority in America, 10, 16, 26. 

over his societies, 45, 341, 344. 

letter to Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, &c, 23, 24. 

Notes, 70. 

Sermons, 70. 
Wesleyan Connection, 22, 286. 

reception of preachers from the, 34. 
Western Conference, boundaries of, 228, 229. 
Whatcoat, Richard, 24. 
Worship, public, 190, 378. 

Youth, (see Children, Sunday schools, Bible classes.) 



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The True Woman; 

Or, Life and Happiness at Home and Abroad. By Jesse T. 
Feck, D.D., Author of" The Central Idea of Christianity." 

12mo., pp. 400. Price SI 00 

Gilt edges 125 

Gilt edges, beveled 1 50 

Morocco 2 00 

In this volume the author has illustrated his ideal of female character 
by a series of didactic precepts and' familiar examples. His standard is 
not taken from the prevailing customs and opinions of society, but from 
the highest teachings of Christian ethics. In his remarks on the intel- 
lectual cultivation of woman, he condemns novel-reading in decided 
terms, regarding it as a " crime, murderous to the heart, the intellect, 
nnd the body;" while he as warmly recommends the perusal of literary 
periodicals, and insists on having access to at least one daily or weekly 
newspaper. The work isjwritten with great earnestness and feeling, with 
ua occasional exuberance of expression. — N~. T. Tribune. 








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